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Junnar mangoes make an early entry in Mumbai

6 boxes of mangoes arrived at APMC yesterday; among them came 2 boxes of the Junnar variety a rarity, since they are usually make a late entry during mango season

With nearly two months to go before mango mania grips the city, the king of fruits has made an early entry this year. The first batch of mangoes has arrived at the wholesale market in Vashi. However, unlike the previous years where Devgad variety of the fruit are known to enter the market first, this year two boxes of Junnar mangoes too have arrived, giving rise to speculation that the mango season is most likely to start early this year.

The first batch of mangoes arrived at the APMC in Vashi yesterday, after favourable climatic conditions facilitated early flowering in the orchards
The first batch of mangoes arrived at the APMC in Vashi yesterday, after favourable climatic conditions facilitated early flowering in the orchards

The six boxes that arrived at the APMC market, however, disappeared in no time, as retailers from Breach Candy, Crawford Market and Ghatkopar picked them up within minutes. Sanjay Pansare, director of the fruit market, said, “On Friday morning two boxes of Junnar mangoes with two dozens of the fruit in each arrived at APMC. Junnar mangoes are well-known for their sweet taste and flavour. The fruit is still raw and would take at least a week to ripen. It was a pleasant surprise to see Junnar mangoes arrive, as the Devgad mangoes are usually the first to hit the market.”

The traditional ritual of blessing the first batch of mangoes was carried out at the APMC in Vashi yesterday
The traditional ritual of blessing the first batch of mangoes was carried out at the APMC in Vashi yesterday

“Mangoes being a four-month fruit, we are guessing the flowering might have happened in the month of September. Generally, flowering of Junnar mangoes takes place much later. This time the climatic condition has been favourable for the fruit so far, and hence, we are anticipating that by the middle of February there would be a constant supply of the fruit,” added Pansare. The rate has not been fixed yet and retailers would be paying the amount to the wholesalers only once the fruit ripens and is ready to be sold to the customer.

Kailash Pawar, a wholesale trader from the APMC market, said that he received a box of three-and-a-half dozen mangoes from a trader based in Kunkeshwar, Devgad. “Generally a five-dozen box of the first mangoes sells for Rs 10,000. But presently it is too early to comment because once the fruit ripens, some of them may get rejected. As is the case with most traders, the first box of the fruit is always given to those traders who they have been dealing with for many years. They believe that by selling the box of the king of fruits to them, it would be an auspicious beginning to the season of mangoes.”

If sources at the wholesale market are to be believed, then the first batch is likely to be sold at anywhere between Rs 900-1,200 for a dozen, which means that a box would retail close to Rs 5,000. “The initial boxes are bought by retailers in plush areas like Breach Candy, Nepean Sea Road, and Ghatkopar too. The reason for it could be the fact that the price is very high. The rates of the fruit are steep only during the initial days but when the season is at its peak, the price begins to slide,” said Pansare.

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