The supply chain disruption amid the lockdown and the exodus of laborers to their native states have dealt a severe blow to the already subdued market prospects of mango in Maharashtra and Gujarat. Although Maharashtra is not a big producer like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and southern states, the Alphonso is the most premium and sought-after variety from the state’s Ratnagiri district.
With the annual mango season peaking in these two western states, the lockdown restrictions on the smooth interstate movement of goods, coupled with the exodus of labourers working at mango orchards and packing houses, are staring in the face of growers and traders.
Alphonso mangoes, which normally sell for Rs 700-800 a dozen at this time of the season, went for Rs 400-500 this year in the retail market of Mumbai, owing to the slump in export and demand.
“We expect the current mango season to translate into almost 40 per cent losses to various stakeholders, comprising farmers, traders and exporters," said Mumbai-based mango trader Ikram. He said the export of mango, especially alphonso, to European countries has been negligible this season; shipments to the Gulf fell 40-50 per cent.
“The flight of labourers to their native states is a big challenge for us, besides the fact that Mumbai is still in the Covid-19 red zone," he said.
Mango output Uttar Pradesh down 12.5 per cent
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh’s mango output is estimated at 3.5 million tons, down 12.5 per cent as against more than 4 MT last year. The output is expected to further dip by 15 per cent, owing to the harvest loss brought about by squall that hit large parts of UP on Sunday evening.
[ Rs 100 = €1.20 ]