Business Bureau :
ONE of the most liked fruits the custard apple (Sitafal) has arrived in the market. This year the prices of custard apple have shot up northwards compared to prices of the previous year due to short supply. “Lower production has resulted in prices rising compared to last years prices,” said Prakash Gaikwad wholesale agent at Mahatma Fule Market while speaking to The Hitavada. The arrivals of custard apple has arrived late by 15 days due to delayed rains this year. To make matters worse the excess rains have damaged the custard apple crop resulting in drop in production by 50 per cent compared to last year, he said. He said that on a average 2,000 to 2,500 crates are being unloaded in the wholesale market daily. The number of custard apple in a crate varies depending on the variety, size and quality. Similarly, the custard apple is also available in basket (tokni).
A basket depending in the size contains about 12 to 100 pieces of the fruit. The custard apple is categorised into two groups the hard (kaccha) variety and soft (pakka) variety at the wholesale market. The hard (kaccha) variety is being quoted at Rs 150 to Rs 750 per crate. Similarly, the soft (pakka) variety is being quoted at Rs 400 to Rs 1,000 per create, depending on the size and quality. This year the local variety of custard apple will be available for another 15 days or till the end of November depending on the arrivals to the market.
Moreover, during the festive season there is tremendous demand for fruits and the custard apple is no exception, he said. In retail, the custard apples are available at Rs 80 to Rs 800 per dozen. Prices may vary from locality to locality, he pointed out. The local variety arrives from Saoner and nearby places within a radius of 50 kilometers of the city. Custard apple also arrives from Seoni-Safara, Katol, Kuhi, Kamptee, Chhindwara and sometimes from Amravati, Nashik and other places.