Pune, 8th December 2021: Last week’s heavy rains and fog have caused severe damage to the strawberries. The rains have affected the quality of strawberries. The first strawberry blossoms have been completely damaged and farmers in Mahabaleshwar fear the shortage on Christmas and new year festivals.
The month of December begins with the arrival of strawberries in large numbers in the markets. However, this year the rains have damaged the strawberries. Many farmers in the Mahabaleshwar area are forced to throw their strawberries produce.
In recent years, demand for this speciality has grown significantly as strawberries are being used to make ice cream, chocolate, jam. At present, one kg of strawberries is priced at Rs 100 to Rs 300 depending on the grade.
Farmers from Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani area send strawberries for sale at Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji Market Yard in Pune. Due to its proximity to the fruit market in Pune as compared to the wholesale market in Navi Mumbai, farmers prefer to sell strawberries in the Market Yard here.
The annual strawberry season begins in October. The quality of strawberries sold in December and January are considered excellent. Strawberries are also exported by air from Pune to Delhi, Bengaluru, Goa and Hyderabad.
“10 tonnes of strawberries arrive in the market every day in December. However, due to unseasonal rains, strawberries are damaged thus affecting the supplies”, Yuvraj Katchi, a strawberry trader at Market Yard.
Director of Satara District Bank Rajendra Rajapure said that efforts are being made to compensate for the losses suffered by the farmers.