COVID-19 effect: Maharashtra’s mango farmers go online to tap consumers

By: |
April 15, 2020 3:50 AM

MSAMB has also hired a godown with the Maharashtra State Warehousing Corporation for the storage of mangoes for enabling easy delivery to consumers, the official said.

Housing societies can directly place orders for mangoes, the official said. Housing societies can directly place orders for mangoes, the official said. (File image)

With the extension of lockdown, farmers are trying to find new ways to reach consumers. This time, mango growers of the state are going online to tap consumers and directly sell the fruit to housing societies.

For this, Maharashtra State Agriculture Marketing Board (MSAMB) has decided to come to their rescue and provide a platform. Every year, MSAMB holds mango festivals throughout the season enabling consumers to directly purchase mangoes from farmers. Last year, Rs 18 crore worth business was achieved through such direct mango festivals. This season because of the spread of COVID-19, MSAMB is taking this concept online. Some 14-15 festivals were held in 24 locations in Maharashtra including Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad and Solapur, among others, and about three lakh dozen mangoes were sold.

Officials of the board said going online would help farmers take their produce to consumers. Around 150 mango growers from Devgad and Ratnagiri have registered on the MSAMB portal. Consumers have to look at the buyer-seller section and place orders. This concept is similar to the farmer groups who are selling their vegetables to housing societies.

Housing societies can directly place orders for mangoes, the official said. A minimum order of 100 dozens will be accepted and the orders will be delivered outside the society gate, he said.

MSAMB has also hired a godown with the Maharashtra State Warehousing Corporation for the storage of mangoes for enabling easy delivery to consumers, the official said. COVID-19 has adversely affected mango business in the state.

According to market reports, the Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation has made arrangements to supply the yellow fruit to consumers through the post office from April 17.

Traders at Pune APMC market had ordered the world-famous Alphonso mangoes from Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts. However, due to the lockdown and the voluntary closure of APMC market, the mango cartons are still lying in their godowns.

The APMC market committee has allowed them to sell their remaining stock to the local mandi vendors. But, since there are no people on the roads, even the selling off this stock has become a major problem.

Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts produce 95% of the entire Alphonso production of India.

Generally, Alphonso farmers pack the fruits in boxes at home and send these via trucks or tempos to Navi Mumbai’s APMC. There, the agents buy the boxes and either sell these in the domestic market or send the better-quality fruits to international market.

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