Mumbai: Unseasonal rains push up prices of mangoes

Mar 02, 2015, 06:42 IST | Ankoor Anvekar

The unseasonal rainfall hit various parts of the state, including the Konkan belt, which, traders at APMC say, may spoil the quality of alphonso mangoes and bring down the supply

As Mumbaikars welcomed the drop in temperature brought on by the unexpected rainfall, it also cast a cloud of worry over farmers and agricultural traders of the state.

If the rainfall continues for the next few days, the standing crop may get damaged, decreasing the supply of mangoes. File pic for representation
If the rainfall continues for the next few days, the standing crop may get damaged, decreasing the supply of mangoes. File pic for representation

The unseasonal rainfall from Saturday has posed serious threat to crops, especially for mangoes and grapes. In the coming days, alphonsos arriving at the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) could leave you disappointed, as the rainfall in Konkan region has washed away the quality of produce.

“The unexpected rainfall will hamper the quality of mangoes and they are expected to rot at a faster rate. If the rains continue, farmers will not be able to pick the fruit, affecting the demand-supply ratio, which will lead to fluctuating prices,” said Balkrishna Shinde, a fruit trader at APMC.

“The rain has also damaged the newly-formed mango flowers,” Shinde added. At present, alphonsos from Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri and Raigad are ready to be plucked off trees. Sanjay Pansare, director at APMC fruit market said, “We were expecting a steady supply of 15,000 alphonso boxes daily, from this week.

However, the untimely rains is bound to increase the prices in the coming weeks.” At present, the fruit market of APMC in Vashi has been receiving a few thousand crates of alphonso mangoes. Last week, more than 2,000 boxes, of 5 dozen mangoes each had arrived. In addition, over 25 per cent of grapes from Nashik district, which was ready to hit the market, is also spoiled.

Transport slows down
Bal Malkit Singh, former chairman of All India Motor Transport Congress, said, “While every day, at least 1,000 trucks arrive at APMC, the rainfall will delay trucks from leaving the farms and we are expecting a 30 per cent drop in supply.”

Aside from the Konkan belt, other parts of the state, such as Pune, Nagar, Nashik, Ahmednagar and Solapur also witnessed rainfall, affecting crops of onion, wheat, orange and pomegranate. “Onions that were harvested, or stored in open space, would have soaked in water, and it would now be sent immediately to the wholesale market before it gets damaged.

This could create scarcity in future,” said Babaji Dhumal, an onion-potato trader at APMC. Traders said that while they are still waiting to get details about the total damage to crops, they fear that it will be substantial.

Rs 100-Rs 150
Expected rise in the price of alphonso mangoes per box

Rs 2,000-Rs 4,000
Current price of the fruit per box in the wholesale market

Rs 50,000-1.5 lakh
Number of boxes that arrive every day at APMC during peak season (April)

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