To all the mango lovers, the first box is already here!
Trader Narayan Pansare and his family performed a puja of the first box of the summer fruit, after which it was auctioned to the highest bidder
The Pansare family performed a puja before the first box of mangoes on Thursday
Mumbaikars won't have to wait long for their favourite summer fruit, as the first box of mangoes arrived at the APMC market from Ratnagiri on Thursday. The box, which was sold for approximately Rs 5,000 was brought by farmer Prashant Deodkar from Navran village and handed over to Narayan Pansare, who has been in the business for the last 35 years. The Pansare family, including Narayan's son Avinash Pansare performed a puja before the box. A pundit was called in for the ritual and sweets were distributed in the market.
Narayan said, "The arrival of the first box is like a blessing. Though we deal in other fruits as well, most of the traders at APMC are dependant on mango, as it has the highest demand. Some mango lovers don't even bargain for the fruit." Often unseasonal rains spoil the stock, but farmers try their best to ensure that good quality mangoes reach the market at the earliest, so that they get a good price for it. "It takes almost six months to cultivate the fruit. After a lot of effort, farmers earn a good price for the stocks, which is their only source of livelihood for the entire year," said Prashant.
Fresh and juicy
Every year, the Pansare family ensures that they get the first stock. "If a farmer has the capacity of sending 1,000 boxes of mangoes, then we pay him R1 lakh in advance. If the farmer is financially strong, then he develops the stock without taking money from us," added Narayan. The first box, which usually has four to five dozens, was auctioned off for over Rs 5,000. "Depending on the quality and the size of fruits, a dozen mangoes cost around Rs 1,500 to Rs 3,000. In March, the price goes down to Rs 2,000 to Rs 4,000 per box, as more quantities arrive," Narayan said.
Who got it?
Narayan mentioned, "The first box has been purchased by a Navi Mumbai-based builder. He had ordered it a month back. Also, many a time, we get a lot of customers for a single box. In that case, we strike a deal with the person who agrees to pay the highest amount. Most of the people who want to buy the first box are from the western and southern parts of the city." In the first week of February, fresh stocks will arrive from Pawas in Konkan, and other parts of Raigad district. "Most of the traders at APMC first take a stock of raw mangoes. Within a week they get to know whether they are of good quality or not. Accordingly, they order the fruit from farmers," added Narayan.
Rs 5,000 Approximate price at which the box was sold
Rs 2k-4k The price of a box of mangoes during peak season in March
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