Business News: Farmers Are Bringing Mangoes Directly To Your Table.
The extension of the blockade nationwide has caused Maharashtra mango growers to worry about their livelihood and ability to survive for the next year. This is because they will find it extremely difficult to sell the fruit for which they had begun preparations in the previous season.
Farmers in Ratnagiri District, Maharashtra’s mango hub producing around 275,000 tons of the popular Alphonso variety, have begun to approach cooperative housing companies in Mumbai and other major cities in the state to book orders and supply wholesale directly to consumers.
The new mango procurement system has benefited both farmers and consumers due to the eradication of middlemen who normally make huge margins to facilitate transactions. But now, farmers will earn at least 20-30% more than in the past through agents. And the consumer also gets a guaranteed offer at rates below the market price.
“Ratnagiri mango growers have begun to individually turn to housing cooperative societies to sell their products directly. Over 180 farmers and 100 consumers have registered on our website. We only facilitate and do not intervene in their bilateral transactions, ”said Milind Joshi, General Manager, Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB), a Maharashtra government unit for monitoring the production and sale of agricultural products in the state.
Identified as the hub of the Alphonso mango in India, the Ratnagiri district currently produces the “king of fruit”, as it is commonly called, at only 50% of its potential. Climate change, inadequate financial support, the unavailability of pre- and post-harvest fruit care techniques and the absence of organized retailing have seen farmers gradually lose mango production.
“There is a huge amount of Alphonso mango available today which requires adequate sales. Farmers have booked large export orders which are currently impossible to fulfill due to high transport costs. Bulk cargo aircraft cannot fly without passengers on both sides due to the global lockdown. The transport cost of small carriers is prohibitive. Under the circumstances, mango growers have no choice but to wait for the blockade to end to start exporting this season, ”Joshi said.
Alphonso mango prices have dropped to Rs 600 a dozen now in the Ratnagiri wholesale market. The premium quality (each fruit weighing over 250 grams) Alphonso, however, is priced at Rs 1,200-1,500 a dozen.
The nationwide lockdown that was initially implemented for three weeks starting March 25 and was further extended by 19 days until May 3 to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus, has brought the entire country to a halt. . It not only halted the production and transportation of essential and non-essential goods and services, but it also reduced the labor force in factories and farms. Consequently, the transport of mangoes from from the farm to the airport it stopped. The cost of transport in Europe, for example, is 210 rupees per kg today compared to 100 rupees previously.
“The mango export opportunity will be lost for this season in the event that the blockade is extended beyond May 3. But farmers and exporters are ready with all approvals to begin shipping immediately after the blockade period, a provided that the blockade in importing countries also ends simultaneously, “Joshi said.
“After all, we are also farmers. We only have the opportunity to earn a living once a year. If this opportunity is missed, we should face a huge financial crisis throughout the next year. Therefore, the government should consider our request and compensate for the loss currently suffered as a result of the national blockade, “said Insaram Ali, President, Mango Growers Association. Indian mango production is estimated at around 22 million tons this year. year, the same as last year.