Mango season is upon us, but if you’re still waiting for your first bite of the seasonal fruit due to rocketing prices, you may want to log on to www.devgadmango.com. To save what’s left of their mango produce from middlemen after untimely rains and a prolonged cold wave, 700 Devgad farmers have come together under an umbrella organisation, to start this website.
By means of it, they will now sell their produce directly to buyers in Mumbai, Pune and its surrounding areas. What’s more, buyers can choose a grade that’s suitable to them, get home delivery and even get mangoes reimbursed or replaced if they are bad.
"The idea came about in February, this year. This year, the mango crop has been badly hit and almost 80 per cent of the normal production was wiped out. But we saw that the online medium was huge, and social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin were powerful. So we chose the online platform to reach out to genuine Alphonso lovers," says Ajit Gogate, founder of Devgad Taluka Amba Utpadak Sahakari Sanstha Maryadit, the umbrella organisation under which this initiative began.
On the website, only Devgad Alphonso mangoes are sold. They are available in six grades, priced from Rs 450 to Rs 900. The mangoes are bought from members, who are paid in cash immediately, even before the Alphonso is sold to the customer. If there is any loss, the society bears it.
And, there is quality control. After buying, if two or more mangoes go bad, a reimbursement is given or the fruit is replaced. "We may also offer a discount on future purchase or send him/her a mango product like pulp, pickle etc, equal to the value of the mangoes found bad," says Gogate.
One can also buy pulp manufactured by members of the organisation, and there are plans to start mango bonds soon. Gogate explains, "Under this scheme, Alphonso lovers can keep a deposit of Rs 10,000 with us and every year, we’ll send them a fixed quantity of the best Alphonso mangoes we produce, irrespective of the market prices. In a way, they will be on our list of priority customers."
There are also plans for a mango festival next year during mango season, where people can go to their farms and eat as much as mango they want. "Next season, we also want to mark each mango with details such as its date of production, grade, farmer’s name, with edible ink on the skin, and our unique packing," says Gogate.
How it works
On the website, head to the order page where you can enter your details, choose the variety of mangoes and order online.
There are various grades of mangoes available. Customers can buy depending on what quality and price suits them.
The minimum quantity that one has to order is one dozen but there is no restriction on the maximum amount.
Buying 20 dozen and above at one time entitles you to a 10 per cent discount