Genuine Alphonso mangoes in the month of December may sound utopian, but then, miracles do happen. A box of Devgad mangoes entered the Vashi Agricultural and Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) recently, sent by a farmer from Devgad.
Within two days, a customer at Rajkot in Gujarat snapped up the entire lot, for a whopping Rs 8,500 for the five-and-a-half dozen. Mangoes from the Konkan region are known to enter the market early in the month of February every year. The farmer who sent the mangoes from Devgad, however called the surprise crop a rare gift of nature.
Speaking to MiD DAY from Devgad, Vrushal Rawale, the farmer said, “A lot of care needs to be taken, right from when flowering begins to when the tree starts to bear the fruit. Since mango is a four-month crop, the flowering happens when the rains are nearing their end.
At such times, the farmer needs to take care by immediately covering the plants with white plastic. We tried our best to ensure that the tree bore fruit soon, and succeeded. We immediately sent the box of fruits to a trader in APMC.”
He added that during peak season, he sends close to 3,500 boxes of mangoes to the market. Traders, on the other hand, said that farmers are known to make use of culter, which are liquid drops put around the plants so that they get sufficient warmth that mango trees are known to require.
“This is a one-off box which entered the market, but the season of the king of fruits would begin only in February. I received the mangoes on Monday and after letting it ripen for a day, it was picked up on Wednesday by a middleman, to be sold to a customer of his in Rajkot. The box, which had around five-and-a-half dozen mangoes, went for a price of Rs 8, 500.
The rate it went for was a little on the lower side, I feel. But when it’s the first box of mangoes, we prefer not to argue over the price much as it is a good omen,” said Mangesh Gangaram Shinde, a fruit merchant from APMC market. He said that early mangoes are bought by a lot of customers mostly to gift others, as the price is so high.