HYDERABAD: While farmers were busy counting notes, disappointed customers made their way back home from the Mango Mela at the Nampally exhibition grounds on Monday. The stock, brought to the mela by farmers, was sold out in the first three days as people queued up to buy the queen of fruits. This afternoon, there was nothing much left and what more, fresh stocks are expected only after a couple of days.
“It feels like such a waste of time. There is hardly any choice and the only variety available is Banganpalli,” rued Madhavi, a visitor. Her husband, Premanand, observed, “It is such a flop this time. Of the 40 stalls, there are just five that are selling mangoes. The rest are empty.” Another couple, Aparna and Ashok Reddy from Gandhi Nagar, spent barely five minutes at the mela. “There is hardly any stock or variety. We just took a walk in the mela as there was nothing to buy,” said Aparna. Her husband pointed out that supermarkets in the city had a better stock and at a cheaper price.
Not all were as choosy though. A visitor Ranganatha Reddy, an avowed mango lover, said, “I bought whatever was available. Though not too satisfied, I bought some anyway.”
The visibly happy lot at the mela were the farmers. M Krishna Kishore, a farmer from East Godavari district, said, “The first phase of my stock, which had Benishaan, Banganpalli, and Rasalu, was sold out in the first two days. I sold about 4 metric tonnes of stock at `50 per kg and, have ordered for more.”
Another busy farmer was Sambashiva, whose specialty were his Banganpalli, which were sold at `50-60 per kg. “I just got lucky. I somehow estimated and got more stock. I am glad that visitors could at least buy some from my stall,” he said.
Though the first edition of the mela was just a three-day event, this year the Mango Mela will be held for a month. The 30-day schedule has been divided into three 10-day phases, depending upon the time taken for the ethylene treatment and cold storage.
G Lakshman, a Horticultural Officer and incharge of a few stalls, explained, “The next phase of mangoes is now undergoing ethylene treatment after which they will be stored for about 2 days in cold storage, only after which they will be ready for sale. We did not expect such great response from people. ”