The farmers of Alphonso mangoes in Konkan region of Maharashtra are bracing for a tough season ahead with sales plummeting to one-third as compared to last year.
Sanjay Yadavrao, Founder of Kokan Bhumi Pratistan, an NGO to support farmers, says that the Alphonso sales are expected to crash to Rs 1,000 crore from Rs 3,000 crore registered last year. Kokan Bhumi Pratisthan works with Government of Maharashtra, Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board and Agriculture Department.
They have set up an e-market in co-operation with the state government to help the mango farmers sell their produce. They take orders through online platforms - globalkokan.org and kokanclub.org - and deliver mangoes to Mumbai, Thane, Vasai and Pune.
"Our NGO has 1,000 mango farmers as associates. We take orders through online and over phone and pass it on to farmers. We have delivered around 10,000 dozen mangoes in 2,000 boxes to 100 societies in various cities," Yadavrao said.
The NGO has also launched Alphonso mango brand called "Global Konkan Alphonso". Their associate farmers are from Devgad, Rajapur, Vijayadurg, Pawas, Navare, Ganpatipule, Jakhadevi, Dapoli, Kelshi, Guhagar and Shrivardhan.
Yadavrao of Kokan Bhumi Pratistan says the people are turning more towards organic fruits, vegetables and grains amid coronavirus outbreak. The ongoing lockdown has badly hit the mango market across the country. Most of the produce hit the market in the first two-three months of the season (March-July).
Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andra Pradesh, Konkan, Goa, Gujarat, Odisha, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are the major mango producing states.
The Portuguese during their rule had introduced grafting on mango trees to produce extraordinary varieties like Alphonso in the Konkan region. Locally called Hapus, Alphonso is one of the superior variety of mangoes in terms of sweetness, richness and flavour.