If you are a true alphonso mango fan then you are already familiar with these terms “Ratnagiri Alphonso” & “Devgad Alphonso”. But even if you are not or have limited understanding on these varieties then don’t worry, this article will not only help you to understand these varieties but also upraise you on why these fruits are relatively expensive & which variety is better.
The Whole World Wants To Experience Alphonso Mangoes
If facts to be believed, in the whole world best quality alphonso mangoes comes from India, within India it comes from Konkan i.e. coastal region of western Maharashtra. In the entire coastal region of Maharashtra also there are specific 2 districts which have gain popularity for producing the best flavored, tasty, juicy and aromatic alphonso varieties i.e. Ratnagiri district & Sindhudurg district, Devgad is a small region in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra.
Ratnagiri & Sindhudurg Districts in Maharashtra
Now let us have a closer look at Ratnagiri District, this district covers area right from Mandangad, Dapoli, Khed, Chiplun, Guhagar, Sangameshwar, Lanja, & Rajapur, this entire coastal belt falls under Ratnagiri District.
Whereas Sindhudurg district covers area from Dodamarg, Sawantwadi, Vengurla, Kudal, Malvan, Kankavli, Devgad & Vaibhavwadi. This entire region is blessed with lot of greenery, uneven hill landscape (i.e. India’s Western Ghat Sahyadri), flowing rivers, hot water springs, forest, waterfalls, temples, historical forts and breathe taking beaches. Apart from alphonso mangoes this region is famous for best quality cashews, jackfruit & coconut as well.
What Makes Ratnagiri & Devgad Regions In Konkan Maharashtra To Produce Extraordinary Alphonso Mangoes?
Now let us dip dive further & understand few basic elements contributing to the quality & growth of these alphonso varieties. First thing is the soil, the Konkan belt is completely covered with red soil which has better base saturation & moisture holding capacity.
In this soil you will also find red stone (Jambha Stone - the local name) which is called as Laterite, this stone is rich in iron & aluminum. Usually this stone is formed in the region which has high temperatures, humidity & heavy rainfall, these alternate wet & dry seasons make this stone intense, So collectively all the factors mentioned above are responsible for the production of best quality alphonso mangoes, needless to mention the salty breeze coming from the Arabian sea also gives this region & fruit upper hand.
The Price War for Alphonso Mangoes in Domestic As Well As International Market
Talking about the pricing, as we discussed above both the varieties are always in demand not only in domestic but even in international market, the farmers and exporters always prefer to export this fruit to other countries as they can command more price over domestic market. Hence there is always shortage of alphonso mangoes in domestic market, though in domestic market also the prices of alphonso mangoes are relatively higher as compared to other varieties of mango produce in India but there is always comparison of alphonso mango prices in international vs domestic market.
Farmers who are selling their produce in domestic market also charge a slight premium as the availability of fruit is limited to only 2 months i.e. April & May. Farmers also have to deploy lot of resources in order to grow the best quality fruit; they have to protect it from theft, adverse weather conditions, plant & fruit diseases etc. these factors also contributes to the rise in price of this fruit.
Which Variety of Alphonso Is Better Ratnagiri Or Devgad?
Now it’s clear that both the regions have similar geographical advantage then why Devgad alphonso mangoes are almost 10 to 15% costlier than Ratnagiri alphonso mangoes? It is presumed that Devgad alphonso mangoes have better aroma, color, size & taste as compared to Ratnagiri alphonso mangoes.
Devgad mangoes are more saffron in color vs Ratnagiri mangoes having more of yellowish color, the average size and weight of Devgad mangoes is relatively higher than Ratnagiri mangoes. Moreover the production is limited in Devgad region as compared to Ratnagiri region, additionally for export purpose Devgad mangoes are given preference over Ratnagiri mangoes due to size & weight of the fruit that also makes Devgad mangoes shortage in domestic market hence the prices are on higher side.
To differentiate between authentic Devgad and Ratnagiri alphonso mangoes we should have really good understanding & exposure to the fruit during all stages of its development, there are very few people like mango farmers who can differentiate the fruit by its looks, size, color, weight or even after cutting it. One need to develop lot of expertise first to differentiate the fruit, for common people like us who end up eating few dozen of alphonso mangoes during the season is extremely difficult to differentiate. In our personal view there is little or no difference between the two varieties hence you can go for either of them & cherish the authentic taste of alphonso as far as they are coming from Konkan region of Maharashtra.
Now which variety of alphonso mangoes you would like to order? Share your choice in the comment section.
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