Nagpur/Mysuru: The Ambiya Bahaar Oranges grown in Nagpur region from October to January, which has been flooding the local markets, now has migrated towards the south. The city of Mysuru, erstwhile Mysore is full with oranges from Nagpur these days.
The demand has also shot up for Nagpur oranges in the region. From Mysuru the truck loads of fruit is also being transported to the local markets in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, close to Karnataka border.
The prices range from Rs. 30 to Rs. 40 per kg as against nearly Rs. 25 per kg sold last year during the peak season.
“While 8 to 10 truck loads of oranges are offloaded in Mysuru, about 4 to 5 make their onward journey to cater to local markets in Tamil Nadu and Kerala bordering Karnataka,” said a loca fruit whole seller. Though available throughout the year, November-December marks the big season as far as the fruit is concerned.
The RMC market in Mysuru receives about 10 to 15 trucks of oranges per day from Nagpur and other wholesale markets in Maharashtra. The distribution network ensures the supply of the fruit to the hinterland around Mysuru, including Hassan and Chamarajanagar.
Though the city is geographically closer to Kodagu, where another variety of mandarin — Coorg oranges — is cultivated, it is the Nagpur orange with its loose skin and sweet taste that are popular and easily available. But this is in contrast to the Coorg oranges which are greenish with a tight skin and a slightly bitter taste.
Besides, the cultivation of Coorg oranges has registered a steep decline and is on the verge of extinction. While the fruit from Nagpur is painting the town orange, the story of Kodagu oranges is not so rosy. Arun Machaya, president, Coorg Orange Growers’ Cooperative Society, told The Hindu that the fruit was almost wiped out of the district 20 to 25 years ago owing to disease. “It was an inter-crop between the Robusta coffee and Coorg oranges were cultivated everywhere in the district. But it has been supplanted by silver oak or plantation owners opt for mono-culture after the disease and hence orange cultivation has taken a hit,” said Machaya.
However, as a proverbial silver lining, Coorg oranges are regenerating on their own and the output is increasing though not on the scale it was once, he added, hoping that it would reclaim its pride as a quintessentially Kodagu product akin to coffee.