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Mango Price Crash: Gujarat's Popular Kesar Mango is Less Expensive Than Potatoes

Chintu Das
Chintu Das
Kesar Mango

After Cyclone Tauktae devastated the area last week, farmers cultivating the famous Kesar mango variety of Gujarat's Gir Somnath and Junagadh districts expressed disappointment .

During the recent few days, the Talala market yard in the Gir Somnath district, which serves as the key hub for the Kesar mango auctions, received nearly 1.5 lakh boxes of the mango variety; each weighing 10 kg. The prices of the same are as low as Rs. 40 for each box. That's just $4 per kilogram. The price was also lower than the market price of Rs. 6 per kg for potatoes.

Price drop and Tauktae

HH Jarsaniya, Secretary, Talala APMC, contemplates, "This is the same variety of mango that was selling in the range of 225-800 per box just a week ago." Just 5-8 percent of the total Kesar mango crop appears to be intact, according to him.

Coasts of Bhavnagar, Amreli, Junagadh, and Gir Somnath districts are most affected by Cyclone Tauktae. And with wind speeds ranging between 160 to 165 km per hr, the mangoes began to fall from the trees.

That being said, poor communities from neighboring districts bought the fallen fruits that were deemed weakened due to mud caking and humidity. There are only around 23,000 boxes available. “Neither a food processor nor a retail trader has shown up to purchase these spoiled fruits. That's why the prices plummeted,” Jarsaniya said.

Behind Alphonso, the Kesar mango is the 2nd most exported mango kind. Moreover, due to the pandemic and logistical constraints in different countries, exports are reduced. The iconic Gir Kesar mango, known for its bright orange color and distinct aroma, was granted a Geographical Indication (GI) in 2011 after being grown primarily in the foothills of Girnar mountain in Saurashtra.

Worst Mango Season

The season began on May 4 this year, with thin deliveries of around 5,600 boxes per day, compared to 8,000-9,000 boxes last year. Season lasts for around 40 to 45 days, which is till mid June. However, owing to the cyclone, the season came to an abrupt end this year.

As per Talala APMC numbers, roughly 7 lakh boxes were exchanged last year, creating a business of 26 crore, but only 3.21 lakh boxes arrived this year, resulting in a business of 7 crore, approximately a 4th of last year's.

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