OWING to an early harvest the daseri and saroli varieties of mangoes of Mirpurkhas region are fetching attractive returns to orchard-owners and contractors from urban markets. Sindh’s leading variety, sindhri, has just started reaching the cities.
Imdad Ali Nizamani, who harvested saroli and daseri in early April, found a ready Punjab market that fetched him lucrative returns. His first vehicle of daseri mangoes despatched to Lahore fetched him Rs720,000 excluding of transportation cost and agents’ commission.
In Hyderabad’s market saroli is being retailed at Rs100 per kg and chaunsa at Rs120. A vehicle carrying around 1,100 wooden boxes (8-9kg each) or 9,900kgs of mangoes was sold for Rs794,000 on May 17 excluding transportation, loading/unloading cost and agent’s commission.
A mixed variety of A-quality mangoes, daseri, sindhri and saroli is loaded in each such vehicle. On an average each box of A-quality mango was sold between Rs900 to Rs950 and likewise category-B was sold for Rs600 to Rs575. In Karachi, the 8-9kg box of A-quality sindhri is sold for Rs500-Rs600 against Rs550-Rs700 in Peshawar.
Orchard owners relate early picking of daseri to better management practices: induced dormancy in mango trees and proper application of potassium and other farm inputs for improved productivity
Prices would stabilise in peak season and increase when exports pick up.
Karamullah Sand, who owns an orchard in Mirpurkhas region, relates the early picking of daseri to better farm practices: induced dormancy in mango trees and proper application of potassium and other farm inputs for improved productivity .
On April 24 his first truck of mangoes was dispatched to Lahore. He sold it for Rs850,000 inclusive of transportation cost. A 13-kg box of daseri variety was sold close to Rs1,000.
Mango growers, who also export the fruit, hope to find a new market in Saudi Arabia as deals are being negotiated. Last year they exported around 175 tonnes of mangoes and this season they are aiming at 350 tonnes.
Mahmood Nawaz Shah, a grower-cum-exporter, says the market price of sindhri would be slightly higher this season due to a drop in its production.
The orchard owners have now realised that they must manage farms themselves to improve production by employing more intensive management practices rather than giving them to contractors. “Many feel comfortable in getting a fixed amount for their mango crop without spending much on their orchard’s upkeep,” he notes.
Sindhri’s harvesting, usually begins after May 20, will be in full swing in June coinciding with Ramazan.
Abdul Waheed foresees mango exports reaching 0.1m tonnes against last year’s 72,000 tonnes with sindhri contributing 30pc to total exports. He expects per tonne price of mango to go up to $550-600 against last year’s $450 to earn $75m.