Mango rates leave a sour taste as arrivals delay
It’s a disappointing season for mango enthusiasts as quality fruits are yet to hit the markets. The mango story has so far turned sour with only a few varieties arriving but they appear to be not up-to-the-mark and also not tasting like the usual. And, mangoes have turned dearer with the yield dropping to an unexpected level this year over late flowering and growth of vegetative flush coupled with the rains.
“The waiting period was not as long as this year. Usually, the fruits would have hit most markets by now but over a two-month long delay in flowering turned the season upside down, delaying fruits,” said Deputy Director of Horticulture, Mysuru, Rudresh.
Raspuri, baganpalli and badam have hit the markets but have turned expensive. Raspuri, the earliest variety, is being sold at ₹90-100 a kg (the best ones in the available lot). Baganpalli is available at ₹90 a kg while badam is costing a whopping ₹180-200. However, Raspuri is getting spoiled in three to four days and the sweetness that the fruit used to have is slightly missing this year.
Mr. Rudresh told The Hindu that one can witness surplus mangoes perhaps in the month of June as the flowering noticed in February-March would start yielding fruits. Other varieties too may start arriving to the markets by May 20, he added.
He, however, said growers have benefitted over the lower yield as they are getting handsome prices for their produce. Moreover, manufacturers of fruit drinks buy fruits in bulk for pulp extraction. This could be another reason why fruits are not available in plenty despite the start of the season.
Meanwhile, the stretch of Mysuru-Hunsur Road, a few kilometres from Mysuru, has turned busy as it hogs the attention when mango season arrives. For, the highway stretch turns into a ‘mango mandi’, with the fruit put on sale. From Raspuri to Badam, varieties of mango are sold here by growers from nearby villages. The vendors start their business at the crack of dawn. The fruit catches the eye of the motorists as vendors display them attractively so that the motorists do not miss the sight.
Vendors occupy either side of the highway, which is frequented by long-distance travellers and tourists heading to Madikeri and Mangaluru who are welcomed by the sight of hundreds of carts filled with mangoes. People give a stopover for buying mangoes on seeing vendors appealing to motorists for a stopover to taste and buy mangoes.
The fruit has turned costly with this year ending up an off year.
Many years ago the villages around Yelwal village on the city outskirts had plenty of mango orchards which have now made way for residential layouts and industries. Also, the area under mango cultivation has not expanded as expected in Mysuru district for various reasons.