Pune: The iconic Alphonso mangoes from Devgad, which normally hit the market early every year, are likely to arrive one month late in the market as early flowering of the fruit crop has been damaged due to the Ockhi cyclone that hit the coastal regions in December.
Every year, the first consignment of these mangoes hits the market in February. But this year they will be available March onwards. If everything goes well, there will be a bumper crop of mangoes this year as late flowering is abundant in almost all orchards. All the orchards in Devgad taluka of Sindhudurg district are in fruit forming stage. If everything goes well, these fruits will be ready at the end of March.
According to farmers, the mango undergoes flowering in three stages. First flowers set on the trees in October, second in December, and for the late crop the flowers set in February.
Due to good climate, there was abundant flowering in October-end at many orchards. Fruits from these orchards are supposed to arrive in the market from February. However the Ockhi Cyclone followed by heavy rainfall, destroyed this early flowering.
Advocate Ajit Gogte, President of Devgad Taluka Mango Producers Co-operative Society said, “Due to severe damage by Ockhi, this year there will no early mangoes from Devgad in the urban markets. Every year when this early crop hits the market, the farmers get good returns as there are no other mangoes in the market. This year the second flowering is abundant so the fruits will arrive in large numbers from March.”
There is 50,000 to 60,000 hectares area under mango crop in Devgad alone. This year there will be a good crop, but as the first flowering was lost to Ockhi, farmers may get 25 per cent lower profits than last year’s bumper crop. Farmers say, “Fruits from Ratnagiri are likely to hit the market at the same time since early flowering is not significant in this area. There is no change in schedule of arrival of Alphonso in the market.”