Exporters in Krishna district find it difficult to get encouraging price
VIJAYAWADA: This season, mango exports have begun bereft of the usual bonhomie and tang at Asia's biggest mango market at Nunna. The first arrivals of the King of fruits at the market have not fetched a good price to traders, who bank on mangoes of better quality in the coming days.
There has been hectic activity for the past three days, and, so far, five hundred truckloads of mangoes are exported to various destinations -- mostly Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
However, there is no cheer among farmers and traders, as the fruits from Krishna district are badly affected due to black spots. Says Tarakula Tirupati Rao, a farmer from Reddigudem mandal: "This season is dreadful for farmers. Black spots on the fruits have affected the business both for farmers and traders. As 90 per cent of the existing ripe fruits have been harvested, we are banking on the semi-ripe fruits, which will be harvested after a few weeks. Farmers and traders are banking on the fresh arrivals after April last week."
Vijayawada Fruit Merchants' Association president Kothapalli Radhakrishna feels that the tropical climate and the unexpected rain have affected the crop. "But the existing temperature is conducive for semi-ripe fruits and all our hopes are on semi-ripe fruits, which will be harvested after two to three weeks. We are expecting improvement in quality of the fruits."
In fact, the news that the fruits exported from Nunna mango market are bereft of quality, size and juice have reached all over the country. The exporters are finding it difficult to get an encouraging price for their merchandise. "So far, one hundred trucks had left for Gujarat alone. But the feedback from Ahmedabad and other parts of the State is not heartening. We are pinning our hopes on the fresh arrivals," say Mohammad Rayees from Mehsana in Gujarat.
Banganapalli, Thothapuri, Sundari and Cheruku Rasam are the varieties currently arriving at the market and the most sought-after by the traders is Banganapalli. "The first quality (the ones without black spots) fruits are fetching Rs. 10,000 per tonne. The ones with spots are fetching around Rs. 4,000. Unfortunately, so far, 80 per cent of the arrivals are affected by spots," said Rayees.
Mr. Rao says that the changed transportation rules have also hit the trade and added to the woes of farmers and traders. While strictly adhering to the rule of permitting only nine tonnes of mangoes in each lorry, the authorities are also including weight of packing material in the permitted tonnage. "But they are collecting freight for 10 tonnes. The traders are reducing the price to meet the extra freight charges, which is badly affecting farmers," says Tirupati Rao.