BENGALURU: Mango vendors in the city are witnessing a dull season due to many farmers claiming low and delayed produce this year as compared to last year. As a result, the prices have also increased, leaving many mango lovers unhappy as they are unable to relish the ‘king of fruits’ this summer. This year, the price of a kg of mango is hovering around the Rs 75-80 mark for higher quality fruit and between Rs 50-60 for small, local produce. Popular mango types including Badami, Himayat, Malgova, Banganapalle, Mallika and Alphonso from Ratnagiri usually attract the best rates and are prohibitively expensive this summer.
While some customers are hoping for the prices to fall as the supply increases, others, including traders, say that this is a remote possibility as the mango is a seasonal fruit and most people would want to enjoy it before the season ends. “Produce is down compared to last year but the sales are steady especially due to Ramzan festivities. We cannot predict growth because it is too early. In a month’s time, we would have a more clear picture,” said Abdul Khader, an old-timer in the retail trade. Local varieties such as Badami and Banganapalle have also garnered pleasant reviews this year because of their sweetness and moderate pricing.
Meanwhile, mango lovers have switched to buying from bulk sellers who throng the road between Fun World on Jayamahal Road and Mekhri Circle. “The mangoes are good and we have come here to buy in bulk. However, I feel the prices could go down in the future,” said Devashree Paranayak, who works in a software firm in the city. “Due to the alternate year yield, mangoes have not come in abundance this year even though the quality is not bad. They ask up to Rs 90 per kg for the premium variety of mangoes, the sweetest lot, but we bargain the cost down to Rs 60,” said Meetu, a homemaker and regular customer, while pointing at the mangoes she had bought from Jayamahal Road.
Seeing the influx of retail buyers, the bulk sellers have also modernised their modes of payment and now accept cash through e-wallets as well as credit/debit cards. “Accepting mobile transactions has helped us make the buying process easier for customers and so we get more of them as well,” said Ajeet Kumar, a vendor.
The city’s annual mango fest, the Mango Mela, is also set to begin soon and will generate more interest and customers, vendors said. According to C G Nagaraj, Managing Director of the Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation Ltd, there was a delay in crop production this year. However, he seemed fairly optimistic about sales ending on a high.
“Even though the crop production delay persists, the harvesting maturity is good this year,” he said. The Corporation is also focusing on discouraging the use of carbide to give mangoes a red tint. An announcement of the dates for the mango mela, usually held in the first half of May, is expected next week.