Posted on 11 Comments

What Really Went Wrong?

We and our member farmers in Devgad (and all farmers in Konkan) were delighted at the start of this year (2011) on sight of our Alphonso trees. Riding on a twice-the-average bloom, a blanket of flowers had wrapped almost all Alphonso trees, so much that leaves were hardly visible. That gave us a hope of a decent crop, something we have been longing for five years.

However, by the start of March, the orchards in Devgad and Konkan wore a devastated look like brown, dried Alphonso flowers lay scattered on the ground or dangled lifelessly from the trees in an occasional breeze. Alphonso season normally starts in March and lasts through May or till the monsoon starts. This year Alphonso was nowhere to be seen in the market even till April end. Of course, there was some mango in the market being passed off as Alphonso.

Now as we take stock of what happened, we realized that we managed to get only 15-16% of the average production, inflicting a huge loss, for the fifth straight year.

But what really went wrong?

First, there were untimely rains in November and December. That is the flowering time of the Alphonso and it needs a cold temperature for bearing fruit. So the flowering took a hit. Then in January-February, there was a severe cold wave that gripped the country. That is the time when fruit-bearing starts, but because of the cold wave, the Alphonso trees got a shock and went into traumatic stress. Because of this stress, there was a forced or induced flowering of the trees, and trees got wrapped in a thick blanket of bloom.

Alphonso trees have two types of flowers — male, with anthers that produce spores and female, with ovaries that pollinate and become fruits. For optimal production, Alphonso trees need to have 14-15% of female flowers. However, with forced flowering, the percentage of female flowers dropped to 4%.  Also, the trees got tired as the nutrition was sucked up in the flowers.

For the female flowers to pollinate and fertilize, it needs a warmer temperature. However, with the cold wave, the fertilization was stalled and so the flowers did not fertilize to the fullest. Most of the bloom dried up and fell dead onto the ground.

After this suffering came to another deadly attack. A 1-3 mm long pest called Thrips is an enemy of the Alphonso. Farmers have been trying to keep it away from the trees using pesticides. However, the pesticide is very short in supply in the market. Adding insult to injury this year we found two new species of Thrips which scratch the tender fruit bud and there is no pesticide available against them. They scratch the skin of tender mango buds and thrive on the juice that oozes out. The fruit that grows out of these buds bears a discolored and disfigured skin, making it unmarketable.

Dr. Subhash Chavan, Associate Director Research, with the Maharashtra Government’s Konkan Agricultural University tells us that the University would likely develop a pesticide against these Thrips species by next year. Mr. Chavan heads research activities at eight fruit research centers of the University in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts.

This season is now almost coming to an end and its season has been the worst in recent years! However, a silver lining in this dark cloud was our initiative which enabled us to give authentic Alphonso to patrons of the fruits. The response and feedback that we got from all of you have given us strength and new lease of life.

We deeply thank all of you for your support.

Posted on 8 Comments

Our Emails Being Marked As Spam. Please Join Google Group!

We send email updates on any developments at, like the start of accepting orders, dispatch of orders, etc. However, this giant called Google/Gmail has been marking them as SPAM, even though all emails are individually addressed. We regret many patrons missed our notification emails and also missed carrying home their orders.

We request our patrons to please join our Google Group so that you will not miss any notification from us. Please enter your email id in the Google Group registration form which you see on the right-hand top of this blog just below where you see this image.                                                                                                                  Join Google Group
You would then get an email from Google with a link, asking you to confirm your intention to join the group. Please click on that link and you will get included in the group and not miss any notification from us.

Also, we send notifications on SMS, but they also get blocked. Those who have registered in the Do-Not-Disturb registry do not get SMS from us. However, we are surprised that we get many marketing SMS even though our numbers are also in the Do-Not-Disturb registry. Then why do the SMS we send get blocked? Can anyone help us with working around this? How do we ensure that our SMS reach our patrons?


Request all our patrons to please check the SPAM folders for emails from us. If you find them, if you have not emptied the SPAM already, please mark our email as ‘not spam’. Thanks!

Posted on 6 Comments

Alphonso In The Fridge! Please No!

Today we had a person call up and ask us if he keeps the Alphonso in the fridge, will it last longer. He had already dumped them in the fridge 24 hours before he called us. We couldn’t help but feel sorry for the poor little fellows in the cold.

Alphonso is not just a fruit, but a bundle of joy full of life. It will die if you put it in the fridge. The cold in the fridge will suck up all moisture and take the life out of the Alphonso! Instead of lasting longer, it will lose its divine taste faster and also get a heart attack inside. This means it will become bad from inside.

Devgad Alphonso mango is a dry and warm weather fruit. If you see, it’s a summer fruit. Hence, we get it in March to May. Thus by nature, it is not suited for a colder climate. You get apples round the year because most of those you buy from the market come from the cold storage, where they have been lying for almost months.

Devgad Alphonso mango cannot be stored in cold storage because of the reasons explained above. Hence you do not get this divine fruit round the year, but get it fresh in the season only.

Please, please, we request all our patrons to not keep Alphonso in the fridge. Try to eat ripe Alphonso as soon as possible, to enjoy all the pleasure in it! Semi-ripe Alphonso should be in the grass it was packed in. Keep ripe Alphonso in the open to have it last longer!

Posted on 6 Comments

Order Dispatch Begins!

Dear Patrons,

We have started dispatch of mangoes against all orders. The vehicle for Pune left early last night and vehicles to Mumbai have started leaving every day. We have sent emails and SMS to all those whose orders are registered. Probably some have not got either or may have gotten into spam.

Those who have placed orders in Pune, kindly call 8796801806 to collect your order, while those in Mumbai are requested to call 9423303556.

Those who have placed orders but do not come, we will give the orders to others who need it. Kindly ask the above contact numbers for availability. We wish you the best and sincerely hope you get to enjoy your share of authentic Alphonso!

Posted on 6 Comments

Why No Home Delivery?

This season is the first time we came online to connect with Alphonso lovers and get authentic Alphonso across to them. Home Delivery of Alphonso was our plan right from the start, along with this initiative. However, we faced some limitations, which is why we are not in a position to give home deliveries this season. We are sorry for that. We had to take that decision just two days ago.

Alphonso needs a certain care in the delivery process and we do not have our own people in the cities to ensure this care is taken. We had contacted some agencies who promised us deliveries. We tried them with dummy orders sent to people we knew to check their service. We were unhappy with the services we got. There were cases of mangoes being changed from the boxes, or the boxes were not handled well, and even issues in money collection.

The time was short and we had to make some arrangements quick. But it was really not possible to go ahead with the people we got in the cities for delivery. We have not been able to try out all people yet with the time restriction. We were able to get a pick-up centre in Mumbai at Girgaum, but had no time in hand to get and set up centres in other parts.

Dear patrons, you have supported us in our endeavor and given us confidence in our initiative. We request you to bear with us for this year and we promise a grand arrangement next year. Please be with us!