Mango lost in mortar - Experts blame construction of buildings & rise in temperature for decline in quality

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By AMIT BHELARI
  • Published 27.05.13
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Upcoming high-rises have sounded the death knell for the Digha Malda mango variety.

The most sought-after local variety has simply vanished from the market although fruit-sellers have no option but to lure mango lovers with “fake” Digha Malda.

The famous Phal Bazaar at the Income Tax roundabout is flooded with varieties like Gulab Khas, Oriya Malda, Daseri and Langda among others but the pale green mango is nowhere to be found. The ones ruling the shelves are those from the Shahabad region — Buxar, Ara, Bhojpur, Rohtas and Kaimur districts.

Digha is famous for mango orchards, especially Dudhiya Malda, which is popular in Bihar and even outside the state. “Mango cultivation has been affected badly due to construction of private houses. Buyers are being fooled in the name of Digha Malda,” said Mukesh Ranjan, a mango farmer at Digha.

Gunjan Mahto, a mango seller at Income Tax roundabout, said: “They ask for the Digha variety and we offer them the local mango. It’s not our fault and if we say that the Digha Malda is not available they will not buy anything.”

While the variety being sold in the name of “Digha Malda” costs Rs 80 per kg, the original ones should not cost more than Rs 70 per kg.

Even buyers rue that they are not getting not getting Digha Malda. “How will we know which is real and which one is fake? I just trust the fruit-seller,” said Sushila Devi, a resident of Raja Bazaar.

Bihar Agriculture University, Sabour, associate director (extension education) Umashankar Jaiswal said: “The available varieties are pre-mature and ripened with carbide, which is not good for health. Digha Malda ripens in the second week of June. The buyers can only differentiate by eating it and while purchasing the real one, they must ensure that it is pale green.”