‘Sugar baby’ the big draw this mango season

Vendors at the Manga Mela in Lalbagh Botanical Garden said that Sakkar Guthi, locally known as ‘Sugar Baby’, is the showstopper this season.
Sakkar Guthi, locally known as ‘Sugar Baby.
Sakkar Guthi, locally known as ‘Sugar Baby.

BENGALURU: This year’s bitter-sweet mango season due to harsh weather has a new favourite, which is making all the noise at the Manga Mela in Lalbagh Botanical Garden.

Vendors at the mela said that Sakkar Guthi, locally known as ‘Sugar Baby’, is the showstopper this season. The small, round and barely yellow mangoes are very popular among women and children, due to their extraordinary sweetness.

Speaking to TNIE, Samrat Gowda, a vendor, said that though this variety has always been in the market, however, this season the sales have exponentially picked up. “One of the reasons is that these sugar baby mangoes are extremely sweet and can be easily fed to children.

They need not be cut or sliced, but just sucked on as a candy. We have been selling them for Rs 180 per kg.” These mangoes are native to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, and at the mela, vendors have been regularly selling over 80-100 kg of them, bringing an unexpected profit.

Though farmers were not happy with the stall arrangement, people thronged the garden in their thousands over the weekends to buy popular varieties such as Mallika, Raspuri, Malgova, Dasheri, Kesari, Imam Pasand, and more.

Another attraction at the mela this year is the Kari Ishad, the now GI-tagged mango that is being sold at Rs 300 per kg and has been flying off the shelves. Ganesh Gunaga, from Gokarna, has been selling the variety for the last 25 years and said the business has been good compared to last year. Wrapped in a woven basket weighing 10 kg each, he said so far, he has sold over 300 baskets.

Hit by weather

Some vendors also said they are neither making a profit nor loss this season. Navya Sri, a farmer from Srinivasapura in Kolar, explained that the yield has been reduced by 50-70%. “Due to drought, the yield has been hit. We are spending Rs 700 per day for one labour and the mangoes they are picking are mostly spoilt and burnt due to heat. During transportation too, several tonnes of overripe mangoes are getting wasted,” she said.

Another vendor, Karthik MN, explained that the delayed season is bringing more people to the mela, however, many resort to bargaining. “Due to less yield, we hope to sell the mangoes at a slightly higher cost, but the customers bargain quite a bit. At this rate, we will not even meet our total expenditure.”

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