India Post delivers mangoes to Mumbai

India Post has started delivering mangoes from the Konkan region to the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) in Navi Mumbai - a move that will ensure that all mangoes produced by farmers in Goa, Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri will reach consumers.
The lockdown in Maharashtra and the rest of the country has made it difficult for mango farmers in Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri to transport their produce to big markets, especially to Mumbai. They have been looking for a cost-effective solution to transport their famous GI-tagged Alphonso mangoes. “We offered them a solution that includes pick-up from their farms, transportation and unloading at the destination point,” said HC Agrawal, chief postmaster general, Maharashtra Circle.
“Our fleet of vehicles involved in this service is called ‘India Post Kisan Rath’. We have postal red vans in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur that can cater to such needs during the lockdown period,” he said.
According to India Post officials, the first Kisan Rath carried a threetonne consignment from Nanar Village in Ratnagiri to the Mumbai APMC on April 21.
Now three-four tonnes of mangoes are being transported to the wholesale market. As more farmers evince interest in the service, India Post plans to press high-capacity vehicles into service in future.
Vinod Kumar, Goa division head of India Post, said three tonnes of mangoes had already been transported from the state and five more tonnes were on the way.
Agrawal said India Post has also offered its services to other farmers in the state affected by the lockdown. Nodal officers have been appointed for all districts to help farmers send their produce to markets, he added.
Sanjay Pansare, director of Mumbai APMC, said lack of demand this year and affected the price of mangoes. “The demand from the hotel industry is very low. That has had a big effect on prices. This will directly impact farmers,” he said.”
Sumit Bhosle, who runs Kalifornia30 Farms in Sawantwadi taluka, Sindhudurg district, has engaged the services of India Post.
A small producer, he manages around 160 Alphonso trees. “Mango producers like me are very small players and we prefer to send our consignments directly to housing societies in Mumbai. So far I have received my orders. But there is some confusion over the permissions,” he said. “I have applied for the RTO pass but yet haven’t got it. The wholesalers can hire one vehicle but most of the small farmers are suffering.”
Prasanna Pethe a wholesale mango producer from Ratnagiri, said because of the lockdown, the transportation cost has increased by 30 per cent. He said that the demand for best grade mangoes is still high but other mangoes are no more in demand.
Export of the fruit has also taken a hit. Mohan Dongre, an exporter, said he used to send mangoes to Gulf countries. “This is the season of mango export. But weekly export is very low compared to last year’s numbers.”

Courtesy: Mumbai Mirror

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