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Beware! Karnataka Hapus being sold as Devgad: News in Sakal Times

Beware! Karnataka Hapus being sold as Devgad

Buy the best Devgad Alphonso Mango at

Sakal Times | Sunday, 15 May 2016 AT 11:24 PM IST

Pune: Mango sellers from Ratnagiri and Devgad in Sindhudurg who have set up stalls at Market Yard and other spots in the city say they are forced to sell their produce at lower costs following steep competition from Alphonso sellers from Karnataka.

As a result of this, Alphonso mangoes from Konkan, which sold for as high as Rs 1,000 per dozen last week, have dropped to Rs 400-800 a dozen. To make things worse, the growers are now complaining that the sellers from Karnataka are misleading consumers and selling their ware as Devgad or Ratnagiri Hapus, catching customers unawares as only a few are able to differentiate Alphonso mangoes from Konkan and those from Karnataka.

According to the figures provided by Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC), till date, 1,62,216 boxes of Alphonso mangoes arrived in the market from Karnataka as compared to 54,074 from Konkan. Similarly, of the juicy Payri variant, only 3,699 baskets arrived from Konkan as compared to 11,097 from Karnataka.

Officials from Maharashtra State Agriculture Marketing Board said that Alphonso mangoes have thin skin as compared to their counterparts from Karnataka. This variant has a strong flavour and orange-yellow pulp and is roundish in shape.

An official said, “If one cuts an Alphonso variant from Konkan, it emanates strong aroma unlike the one from Karnataka.” The official also said that the Karnataka Alphonso mangoes, which are being sold in the State currently, are of the same variant as that of Konkan, from saplings which were once planted in Karnataka.

He added, “However, the red laterite rock and salt content in the air due to proximity to the seashore in Konkan gives Alphonso mangoes found here its distinct flavour.”

Uday Khanwilkar, a mango grower and seller in the city, claimed that Karnataka variants have a thick covering and a faint aroma. Another grower, Dheeraj Bane, who has set up a stall in the MSAMB premises at Market Yard, said that Alphonso mangoes from Devgad have a distinct aroma and flavour which the Karnataka variant lacks.

Jyoti Bolande added that mango growers from Konkan area are currently facing steep competition from sellers from Karnataka and that they are forced to sell mangoes at a lower price. “If consumers insist on buying mangoes at a cheaper rate, they are likely to get mangoes from Karnataka as these mangoes are sold at as low as Rs 200 per dozen. The State government needs to take some measures to stop this,” said Bolande.

Senior MSAMB official added that unless the Alphonso mangoes from Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Thane and Raigad get geographical identification, the sellers from Karnataka cannot be stopped from selling their fruits as Ratnagiri and Devgad Hapus.

Pune Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Chairman Dilipkumar Khaire said that as compared to last year, due to climatic condition fewer mangoes have arrived in the market. He added that APMC has issued instructions to traders to avoid using hazardous chemicals to ripen the mangoes.

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Devgad’s farmer co-op society of Alphonso mango farmers in Maharashtra expands online

Originally Published in The Economic Times Here
Prachee Kulkarni, ET Bureau Mar 28, 2013, 07.52 PM IST


Pune: In a unique example of modern technology connecting to farms, the co-operative society of Alphonso mango farmers in Maharashtra’s Devgad taluka is expanding its online ordering initiative Two years ago it started exploring e-commerce to take Alphonso mangoes directly from its farms to customers. The society is targeting a sale of Rs 1 crore this season from the online model, up from Rs 5 lakh it achieved in the test phase.

Devgad, located the offshore Arabian Sea, comprises 70 villages, whose major breadwinner is the Alphonso mango trade. Alphonso is grown on 45,000 acres in Devgad and reaches 50,000 tonnes in a year of decent production. This year the farmers are staring at a lean period in production and the taluka is scheduled to reach about 30 percent of its normal production.

The society, now in its 25th year, has 700 Alphonso mango farmers as its members. It is the largest and oldest co-operative society among mango farmers in the country. This is the first time any group or co-operative society of those who otherwise depend on mandis to sell their produce – is venturing online in a direct-to-home initiative. The society has also appointed a chief marketing officer, a newly created position and also the first such in a farmers’ co-operative society, to lead the online initiative.

The online portal serves a dual purpose for the farmers; first, they are able to maintain quality control and are also able to generate judicious returns for their produce, Adv. Ajit Gogate, founder, director and chairman of Devgad Taluka Amba Utpadak Sahakari Sanstha Ltd said. The farmers are also able to fast recover the money, either before or within two days of the sale, unlike in the traditional system where it takes nothing less than 6 months for them to get their money. The taluka generates about Rs 130 crore annually from the sale of Alphonso mango alone. Fishing and tourism are other sources of income in Devgad, raking in a fraction of that from Alphonso mango.

Gogate said the society decided to explore the online medium in February 2011, when bad weather wiped out 80 percent of the mango crop. “The idea then was to maximize returns from whatever crop our farmers would be able to salvage.” “However, customers gave an encouraging response. Many were buying a fake ‘Devgad’ Alphonso mango from the market for years, but realized the authentic taste only from the fruit they bought from us,” he added.

The society then decided to focus on the online model and strengthen various processes like payments, mango purchases, deliveries and storage in Pune, the first city it explored in 2011.

The society now wants to create a model in e-commerce for perishable products like fruits and wants to share it free with any other co-operative society of farmers who wants to create a similar model for whatever they produce.