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Authenticity Matters: The Cautionary Tale of Alphonso Mangoes in Maharashtra

The Alphonso mango, affectionately known as Hapus in Maharashtra's Konkan region, is not just a fruit but a symbol of pride and tradition. However, recent concerns raised by growers highlight a pressing issue – the circulation of counterfeit Hapus mangoes in the market. This has prompted a call to action for consumers to verify the authenticity of their purchases and support the region's producers.

Mukund Joshi, director of the Konkan Hapus Amba Utpadak Vikreta Sahakari Sangh, emphasized the need for caution, stating,

All that is branded as Hapus is not Hapus." He urged consumers to look for the GI tag numbers and barcode to ensure they are purchasing genuine Alphonso mangoes from Konkan.

This caution comes amidst efforts by the region's producers to safeguard their intellectual property, ensuring that only mangoes from Konkan can rightfully bear the Hapus or Alphonso tag.

The challenges faced by Alphonso mango growers this season have further exacerbated the situation. Unseasonal rains have led to a drop in early fruit and flower development, resulting in an estimated yield of only 25-30% of the normal produce.

However, a second flowering has provided a glimmer of hope, albeit with increased production costs due to a thrift infestation.

In contrast, mango growers in Karnataka have reported favorable conditions, raising concerns of the market being flooded with non-authentic Hapus mangoes from outside Konkan. To combat this, Joshi has called on consumers to remain vigilant, checking for GI tags and barcode scanning to ensure the authenticity of their Hapus mango purchases.

The collective effort to protect the Hapus name involves over 1,700 registered farmers and processors dedicated to maintaining the integrity of this cherished fruit.

Their commitment to authenticity not only preserves a culinary tradition but also supports local livelihoods and sustains a cultural heritage.

As consumers, it is our responsibility to support these efforts by making informed purchases and ensuring that we are indeed getting the authentic Hapus mangoes from Maharashtra's Konkan region.

By doing so, we contribute to the preservation of a cherished tradition and the livelihoods of those who cultivate it.

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