This year Amdavadis might not get their usual quota of favourite Kesar mango. The production of the fruit is 40% lower. Every year by this time the market is flooded with Kesar mangoes, but this year trading at the wholesale market in Naroda is also low.
Unseasonal rains have affected the yield, said officials in the state horticulture department. Consequently, prices are also about 15% higher than normal years. Usually at this time of the year, auction of Kesar mangoes starts in market yards on a daily basis, but this year there have been only four-five auctions at the yards.
Moreover, construction activity and commercial development on land used for mango cultivation is also one of the reasons for lower production. Many farmers have sold their farms at high prices and the land is used for commercial purposes, he added.
This year the arrival of Kesar mangoes in the city is delayed. Daily 20 trucks reach here from Saurasthra, but the arrival schedule has got pushed back by a fortnight, said Laxmandas Rohe, president of Naroda fruit market association. The prices this year are high. Last week, the price of a 10-kg box was around Rs 1,100, which has now reduced to Rs 800. But this is too high compared to previous years when Rs 700 was the maximum they would sell for.
Kesar mangoes, also known as ‘Gir Kesar’, are mainly grown in the Junagadh and Amreli districts of Saurashtra. Unseasonal rains and high winds have destroyed a large quantity of standing crop, said Bhadabhai, a mango cultivator for many years. Farmers in and around Gir are expecting 40% less yield of mangoes mainly due to damage by bad weather. Farmers currently sell their yield for Rs 800-900 per box of 10 kg of raw mangoes in wholesale auction at the market yard. These take time to get ripe. According to Bhadabhai, the prices are 10-20% lower than last year.
Farmers sell their produce at auctions in the Talala marketing yard. Auctions usually begin at 2 pm and continue till all the farmers have sold their stock for the day.
According to Harsukh Jarsaniya, secretary of Talala marketing yard, they have been receiving 10,000 to 12,000 boxes from farmers these days. This quantity is at least 15% lower than regular years. The yield and supply is expected to improve after May 20, he said.