Mango season in Mysuru has a special connection with Beerihundi, a small village on the outskirts of the city. For decades, Beerihundi, about 18 kilometres from the city, is the focal point when it comes to supplying the king of fruits to juice and pulp making factories.
Every day, more than 200 tonnes of mangoes land at Beerihundi market and are sent across India for juice and pulp extraction. The market which lies dormant during the rest of the year becomes active from April end when mangoes start arriving from the surrounding villages.
Mangoes cultivated in Mysuru region are in great demand for making beverages and fruit merchants are struggling to cope up with the ever-growing demand. Says Macibool Sharif, who is the in-charge of Beerihundi market: “Mangoes are cultivated in and around Mysuru enjoy a reputation of being juicy and having a rich pulp. Hence the demand from beverage manufacturers and food processing units is always high.”
“This year, the yield is very good, thanks to pleasant weather conditions. The rates too are low as the going rate is Rs 22 to Rs 24 per kg for Alphonso (locally called Badam) while the prices stood at Rs 27 last year,” he says. The demand is at its peak now and it will go on like this for 45 to 50 days and more than 50 truckloads of mangoes leave Beerihundi every day. “The fruits are not sold directly from here. We send them to the APMC Yard and from there, it goes to different destinations,” he says.
Mangoes are transported to Jalgaon in Maharashtra, Krishnagiri in Tamil Nadu and Chittor in Andhra Pradesh.
Though Mysuru is not a prominent mango-producing district when compared with districts such as Kolar, Chikkaballapur, and Ramanagaram, the area under mango cultivation has been increasing every year due to suitable climatic conditions.
Mango is currently grown at places including Doora, Jayapura, Hullahalli, Bilikere, Gopalpura, Beerihundi, Chamarajanagar, Kollegal, Channapatna, Ramanagaram and surrounding areas.
In the earlier years, Thotapuri variety that was grown predominantly in Mysuru region was in great demand in the processing industry. Now the demand has shifted to Alphonso variety. 10 years back, Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri had dominated Alphonso cultivation. Now the variety is grown in Bilikere too and is known for its quality and aroma,” Maqbool Sharif says.
Alphonso variety, with its sweet taste, pulpy nature and slim seeds, fetches highest returns. The variety is also grown in H D Kote belt, he adds.