Majority of the consignments being dispatched in smaller vehicles

The bright, luscious king of fruits eagerly awaited in the summer months may disappoint its fan club this time round, what with its shrunken arrivals and elevated prices. Instead of a series of trucks waiting to be offloaded at the Gaddi Annaram Agricultural Market Yard, famously known as Kothapet Fruit Market, one gets only a passing glimpse of a mango-laden truck these days.

While the arrivals have begun for the last 15 days, majority of the consignments are being dispatched in smaller vehicles such as auto-trolleys and mini-trucks instead of the heavy vehicles that usually swarm the market in April.

“The market has been receiving mangoes for the last fortnight. Initially, the quantity was only about 40 to 50 tonnes, but for the past couple of days, it has increased to 400 to 500 tonnes,” the selection grade secretary of the Gaddi Annaram Market Committee V. Seetharam Reddy informed.

However, the yields being badly affected by bad weather conditions, the fruit arriving from neighbouring districts such as Mahabubnagar and Ranga Reddy has been very less in quantity, he said.

Only about ten full truckloads are arriving daily as of now, with the rest being brought in DCMs and auto-trolleys. Compared to 2010, the current arrivals are lesser by nearly 200 tonnes. The year 2011, however, was anomalous for comparison due to delayed crops.

“The flowering was delayed this time too, and destroyed due to unfavourable climate. Another major problem this year was with the regular pesticides which simply failed to kill the pests,” said Jayachandra Chowdary, a farmer from Chittoor. Kothapet Fruit Market is the major offloading point from where mangoes are graded and exported. During the season, it sees about 200 varieties of mangoes being brought from various districts such as Krishna, Karimnagar, East and West Godavari, Chittoor, Ranga Reddy, Kurnool and Mahabubnagar.

Major varieties of the fruit, which are arriving at the market are Benishan and Thothapuri, though others such as Rasalu, Jahangir, Mansurabad, Dasheri, Totapuri, Neelam, and Himayat too are delivered here.

Another blow in waiting is the price of the fruit. The wholesale price per tonne is hovering at around Rs.20,000 and Rs.40,000, when compared to the Rs.30,000 last year—an indication of the retail price hike.

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