With Vashi’s agricultural produce and marketing committee (APMC) market brimming with a bulk supply of the king of fruits, one expects the place to be swarming with buyers. However, the suppliers have a different story to tell.
The demand for the fruit is so low in the city that they have started to export numerous boxes of mangoes outside the country. Out of the 25,000 boxes of mangoes coming to the market on a daily basis, 15,000 boxes are being exported.
The market is stocked with various varieties of mangoes including Badami, Kesari, Totapuri and Lalbagh. The per-box rate of the fruit could vary from Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,500 depending on its size and sweetness. The export began from the first week of February and is likely to continue till the end of the season.
Sanjay Pansare, wholesale trader of mangoes and director of the APMC fruit market said, “The market is 50% down this year as compared to last year. As a result, we are exporting Alphonso mangoes to countries like Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. These fruits are generally sent either by sea or by air. While it may take about four days for the fruit to be exported by sea, it is obviously much faster by air.
However, before sending the mangoes by sea, we generally put them in the cold storage so that their quality does not deteriorate in transit.” Packaging of mangoes is also an important point that the traders have to take care of. However, even though the fruit is being exported in such large quantities, it is not fetching a good price.
On the other hand, exporters claim to be facing tough competition from other countries like Mexico, South Africa, Brazil, etc where the crop is also cultivated. Prakash Khakhar from Kay Bee Exports, who has recently sent a consignment to New Zealand, said, “Indian exporters are facing tough competition from other countries. The mangoes, which are sent abroad generally need to be sent in a semi-ripened state. Since their shelf life is hardly eight to ten days, it becomes important for us to send the fruit is this condition.”