About Devgad Alphonso Mango
The Alphonso mango is a foreign fruit that came to India through Goa along with Alfonso De Albuquerque, the Portuguese explorer and military strategist who led many Portuguese invasions in the 1600s. From Goa, the Alphonso mango travelled to different places like Ratnagiri, other Konkan region and southern side of India as well.
The Devgad Alphonso gained distinctiveness and favorable characteristics like the pleasant fruity smell, no fibre, extremely aromatic and sweet taste, becoming popular among buyers. The distinctiveness comes from geographical conditions of Devgad as the same are not observed in other varieties grown elsewhere.
In the early 90’s, growers brought grafts from Ratnagiri to Devgad for experimentation. As Devgad is majorly hard laterite rock below (termed as jambha dagad locally), it was difficult to plant the grafts. Growers uprooted existing trees of other species that had grown in cracks on the laterite rock and planted Alphonso grafts in its place. The planted grafts survived and produced Alphonso mangoes that tasted very different from mangoes of Ratnagiri region. This was attributed to the typical weather conditions and soil characteristics in the geographical region of Devgad. Between 1920 and 1930 Devgad Mango Growers engaged in marketing efforts, by sending their Alphonso mangoes via passenger boats to Mumbai. Mumbaikars recognized the unique taste of Devgad, along with its sweet taste, thick pulp and extremely pleasant fruity flavour, and the fruit became popular.
The fruit from Devgad came to be popularly known as Devgad Hapus in Mumbai and fetched premium price due to its growing demand and popularity. It was at this time that Devgad Alphonso started gaining consumer goodwill to become a brand name thereby acquiring commercial importance. It was apparent from the growing demand and popularity of Devgad Alphonso that the distinctiveness of Devgad Alphonso was a result of the typical climatic conditions and soil characteristics of Devgad region which are different than even nearby regions like Ratnagiri.