Try your luck at Yelahanka mango mandi for astounding bargains

A little late this season, the King of Fruits has finally arrived. The mango mandi at Yelahanka is humming with activity with trucks driving in with their juicy, aromatic cargo from the famed orchards of Kolar and Andhra Pradesh.

For those disappointed by last year's pitiful harvest, this season has more than compensated. Being an ‘on season' for the fruit this year, a delicious range of mangoes has been flooding the mandi over the last couple of weeks. Not only this, the cost this season is down by an incredible 60 per cent when compared to last year, the traders claim.

With traditional favourites such as Alphonso and Raspuri as popular as ever, others such as Badami, Sendhura and Benisha are also in demand.

“Alphonso is the most popular among mangoes and, therefore, is in demand by companies for its pulp. Around 80 to 85 per cent of the fruit arriving at the mandi is sold to factories,” Mubarak Pasha of Mubarak Fruit Company told The Hindu. He also pointed out that the quality of mangoes this year has been fairly good compared with last year.

The dampener

While the wholesale price for mangoes tempts customers, sadly, the rain is keeping away the crowds, according to Maniswamy of M. Karunanidhi Brothers' Fruit Company. “We are worried about the rain, which has kept customers away from the mandi, leaving the stocks to rot.”

If the retail cost for a kilogram of Alphonso is between Rs. 100 and Rs. 150, it could cost just Rs. 25 at the mandi. Similarly, the other popular variety, Raspuri, costs Rs. 12 a kilogram here where as it is sold at a price ranging from Rs. 16 to Rs. 20 at the retail market.

There are, however, customers such as Manjunath S., who religiously visit the mandi year after year in search of quality mangoes. “Varieties such as Badami and Sendura are even cheaper. We come to the mandi every year as it not only cheaper but the quality has also been consistent,” he said.

The catch

But there's a catch. Despite such low cost for mangoes, there are also traders who don't like selling their ware to individual buyers as they claim their profit margins come down. Instead, they prefer to deal with big food processing companies that require bulk quantities.

Meanwhile, the demand for mangoes in the retail market seems to be going up. Retailers also have their grouses. Mohammed Absar, owner of a fruit store in Russel Market, said: “There is no guarantee on the quality of mangoes we purchase as we have to segregate the good ones from the others. But as mangoes come only once a year, they sell quickly. My stock lasts me three to four days; therefore, I make three trips to the mandi in a week.”

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