From ‘Ice-cream’ to ‘Mallika’ and ‘Apple’ to ‘Himampasand’, the fifth season of ‘Honey and Mango Fest’ that commenced at Kanakakkunnu here on Monday offers all varieties in the basket, with exotic varieties from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra finding their way in large numbers.
Mango sellers from various parts of India have gathered here expecting high sales. A total of 140 varieties of mangoes will be on sale at the fest of which 60 varieties were available at the various stalls set up on the inaugural day.
The government has fixed the rates of all indigenous and exotic varieties, saving sellers the trouble of bargaining. A prominent talk among the sellers was about the ‘blanket ban on export of Alphonso’. The Alphonso variety of mango from Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra is well-known for its juicy flavour.
“The competition between individual sellers and the wholesale buyers has escalated the issue. The selfish motives of the wholesale buyers has contributed largely to the situation,” said a mango seller. Despite not knowing the local language, Komal Reddy has come all the way from Karnataka to sell his special varieties of mangoes.
For him, this is a part-time job as he is a student of Mechanical Engineering in a college in his hometown. The varieties from Karnataka include mangoes like Himampasand, Aralika, Raspuri and Banganapalli. Competing with varieties of mangoes from other states are local favourites such as ‘Kotturkonam’, ‘Sindhooram’, ‘Panchavarnam’, ‘Neelam’ etc.
Sajendran, a wholesale seller from Muthalamada in Palakkad, is all smiles when asked about his sales. “The mangoes from here are mainly exported to Delhi, Mumbai and other parts of North India,’’ he said. While asked about his alternative means of livelihood, Ushakumar, who is a regular participant from Muthalamada, is of the opinion that it takes almost a year for preparing the mangoes for sale. He has set up six stalls expecting similar profits as last year.
The effort of Horticorp to amalgamate with honey at the fest is drawing the attention of children and homemakers. Some of the other exhibits include Papaya honey, Amla honey, Pear honey, Pineapple honey, Cashew honey, Dates honey, Badam Honey etc. Honey combs are another centre of attraction where a large number of visitors crowd together. A substitute for vinegar synthesised by farm authorities aroused the curiosity of several customers.
Byproducts of honey are available mainly from three stalls. Honey jam, Orange honey, Jackfruit honey, Ginger honey, Coorg honey, Lychee honey, Drumstick honey, natural facepack and wax are other attractions at the fair.
— Ancy Sara, Renjini Rajan & Nitta P John