The summer keeps the villagers of Athreyapuram, Annavaram, Tuni, Gollaprolu, and other mandals in East Godavari district engaged in preparing the lip-smacking item, which is a favourite for all age groups.
Mango jelly makers in the State are in a quandary. Though there is good demand for the ethnic sweet, wholesale traders are not coming forward to offer a good price to the jelly makers forcing them to sell at lower price.
“It is getting difficult for us to continue this seasonal business as the prices of mango, jaggery and the labour charges have increased multi-fold. But, the traders are offering less price,” bemoan the mango jelly makers in unison.
The summer keeps the villagers of Athreyapuram, Annavaram, Tuni, Gollaprolu, and other mandals in East Godavari district engaged in preparing the lip-smacking item, which is a favourite for all age groups. Whole families migrate to the neighbouring districts to make money during April and May.
Inti Govindu, a native of Duggada village in Gollaprolu mandal leased out a mango orchard at Adavi Nekkalam village in Agiripally mandal in Krishna district, for making jelly.
When The Hindu visited the orchard, Govind, along with his workers were busy cutting the ‘totapuri' mangoes, extracting pulp from the fruit, mixing it with jaggery and pouring on the palm-leaf mats in hot sun for making jelly. He had invested about Rs.10 lakh and was providing livelihood for as many as 25 families.
“We bought ‘Totapuri' mangoes for Rs.7, 000 per tonne last year. This year, the price has shot up to Rs.10, 000. The workers will spread the gluey pulp on the mats till the jelly reaches three inch thickness and should be dried for at least one month. The wholesale traders can store them (jelly) for six months,” said Govindu.
“We sold a 60 kg carton at Rs.2, 800 last year. This year we are expecting to get an additional Rs 100 or Rs 200. The traders will dispatch the stock to stalls and bakeries at Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore and other cities, while little quantity would be used for local consumption,” said Govindu.
Dora Babu, another jelly maker from Annavaram of East Godavari district lamented that while the traders made big money, the jelly makers had to make do with marginal profits. “The traders make Rs.150 to Rs.200 per kg while we end up getting around Rs. 60 per kg from them”.
“Apart from lease amount, we have to pay power and water charges, provide two meals a day to labourers. We request the government to provide loans for mango jelly makers in the State,” urged Dora Babu.