The city is witnessing a virtual flood of the famed Nagpur oranges due to a bumper crop in the Vidarbha belt of Maharashtra this year.
As against nearly 10 truck loads of the fruit that used to be offloaded in the city normally, the numbers have increased to nearly 20 truck loads per day this year.
The wholesale merchants dealing exclusively with fruits aver that this year’s arrival is the highest in recent memory but is not doing either the farmers or the merchants any good. For, the prices have crashed due to the glut in the market.
Merchants at the APMC yard said the price of good quality orange has dropped to nearly ₹25 per kg against the normal rate of ₹ 40 while a slightly inferior variety of the fruit is sold at around ₹20 per kg. The rate at which the oranges are being sold in the wholesale market is less than the transportation cost, according to the merchants.
Mysuru was receiving around 150 tonnes to 200 tonnes of oranges daily since the last few weeks. This is against the regular load of around 60 tonnes to 70 tonnes during peak season all these years. In case the fruit remains unsold then it is dumped in the open causing loss to the merchants who have already placed the indent for the fruit, according to the wholesale traders.
However, the entire consignment is not distributed to retailers in Mysuru. Nearly 50 per cent of the load is transported from the APMC yard in Mysuru to the neighbouring towns and even the border areas of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The fruit is transported to the hinterland in a radius of 150 km covering places as far as Hassan and Chamarajanagar districts as well.
While the variety cultivated in central India is painting the town orange, the Kodagu oranges are yet to make their presence felt in the market this year. Merchants say it will be another two months before they hit the market ahead of the summer.