The MahaOrange, an apex body of orange growers in Maharashtra, has decided to launch a pilot project to push exports through a new facilitation centre.
The project is due to start this month and the oranges will be branded under the umbrella of MahaOrange, says A Gharad, chairman, MahaOrange.
A group of some 100 farmers will attempt to push exports of around 10 tonne to neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh. Gharad says these oranges have a shelf life of just 2 days, making it difficult to sustain exports. Moreover, prices in the markets of Pakistan and Nagpur are nearly the same and therefore farmers have a tendency to look at the domestic market which is much easier to service, he said.
The south has emerged as a big market for these oranges.
According to Gharad, there has been a delay in the start of the season due to the late monsoon and this has led to a delay in flowering also reducing the fruit sizes in some places.
According to some farmers, the Mrig Bahar crop has been affected by up to 98%, the Ambia Bahar crop too has taken a hit, with losses of up to 34%. Industry observers pointed out that the Mrig variety has been a failure for the past four years.