Mango is an important fruit in India. Mango belongs to the family of Anacardiaceae. The scientific name is Mangifera indica L. Besides the delicious taste, excellent flavor, and attractive fragrance, it is rich in vitamin A&C. That is why the popular name of mango is ‘King of Fruits’.
The tree is hardy in nature and requires comparatively low maintenance costs. Mango occupies 22% of the total under fruits comprising 1.2 million hectares, with a total production of 11 million tonnes. Major mango-producing countries are India, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Pakistan, Mexico, Brazil, and Bangladesh.
While in India, major mango-producing states are Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. Mango cultivation with a proper plant management system is a profitable business for fruit farmers. However, you must adopt high yielding and improved variety to get the maximum profits.
Economic Importance of Mango Cultivation
Due to its wide range of adaptability, high nutritive value, richness in variety, delicious taste, and excellent flavour it is very popular with the masses. In addition, it is a rich source of vitamins A and C. Anyone can consume the fruit as raw or ripe. Good mango varieties contain 20% of total soluble sugars.
However, the acid content of ripe dessert fruit varies from 0.2 to 0.5 % and protein content is about 1 %. Raw slices in brine, amchur, pickle, jelly, juice murabba, chutney, panhe (sharabat) etc are the popular value-added products of mango. Mango woods are a great resource of timbers.
Among internationally traded tropical fruits, mango ranks only second to pineapple in quantity and value. India occupies a top position among mango-growing countries of the world and produces 40.48% of the total world mango production. Therefore, the major 5 importing countries of India’s Mangoes are the USA, Bangladeshesh, UK, Saudi Arabia, and Nepal respectively.
How to Start Mango Cultivation Business
- First of all, you must adopt improved cultivars. Adoption of high-density planting in cultivars is a must.
- In addition, you must regulate flowering and the intensity of flowering.
- You must perform pruning malformed mango shoots at the bearing stage.
- Therefore, you must manage the alternate bearing by reducing fruiting during a year by adoption of pruning and thinning practices.
- You must provide life-saving irrigation at the critical stage of fruit growth etc.
- Furthermore, integrated nutrient and water management is important.
- Manage the spongy tissue through sod mulching.
- In conclusion, you must adopt integrated pest and disease management practices. Timely control of pests and diseases, at the fruit development stage especially after rains, is important.
Health Benefits of Mango
- Research shows that the mango protects against colon, breast, leukemia, and prostate cancers.
- The high levels of fiber, pectin and vitamin C help to lower serum cholesterol levels, specifically Low-Density Lipoprotein.
- Mangos help clear clogged pores and eliminate pimples.
- One cup of sliced mangoes supplies 25 percent of the needed daily value of vitamin A. Therefore, it promotes good eyesight and prevents night blindness and dry eyes.
- The tartaric acid, malic acid, and a trace of citric acid found in the fruit help to maintain the alkali reserve of the body.
- The fiber in mangos also helps digestion and elimination.
- Finally, mango helps to boost the immune system in the human body.
Best Varieties For Mango Cultivation
In India, you will find more than a thousand varieties in different parts of the country. Most of the commercial cultivars are characteristically specific to geographical adoption. And their performance is satisfactory in a particular region. Therefore, you must select the variety for mango cultivation on the basis of their suitability for a particular region. Some of the popular varieties are
Mallika: It is a cross between Neelam and Dashehari.
Amrapali: It is a cross between Dashehari and Neelam. However, it is a dwarf vigorous type with regular and late bearing variety.
Alphonso: The pulp is yellow to orange in colour. Therefore, it is soft, firm and fibreless. It is a mid-season variety.
Mangeera: It is a cross between Rumani and Neelam. It is a semi-vigorous type with a regular bearing habit.
Ratna: It is a cross between Neelam and Alphonso. Therefore, it is a regular bearer and free from spongy tissue.
Langra: The lemon-yellow flesh is juicy and flavourful. It is scarcely fibrous, a mid-season variety.
Arka Aruna: It is a hybrid between Banganapalli and Alphonso with regular bearing habit and dwarf in stature.
Arka Puneet: It is a regular and prolific bearing hybrid of the cross between Alphonso and the Banganapalli. Also, it is a good variety for the processing industry.
Arka Anmol: It is a semi-vigorous plant type from the cross between Alphonso and Janardhan Pasand. However, it is also a regular bearing and free from spongy tissues.
Agro Climatic Condition For Mango Cultivation
Mango thrives well in tropical and sub-tropical climates. The ideal temperature for the crop ranges from 24° to 30° C along with high humidity. Temperature below 10° C and above 42° C retards growth and adversely affects the flowering time of mango. A cool and dry period, which slows or stops the growth, is essential for flower induction.
Most of the mango varieties thrive in places with good rainfall (75 to 375 cm per annum) and dry season. However, the distribution of rainfall is more important than its amount. Rainfall during the flowering period adversely affects the fruit set. Fog and cloudy weather at the time of flowering from November to February also result in the poor setting of fruits and favours the pest attack and diseases.
Suitable Soil For Mango Cultivation
Mango grows well on a wide variety of soils, such as lateritic, alluvial, sandy loam, and sandy. Although it grows very well in high to medium fertility soils. Even you can grow successfully in low fertility soils by appropriate management especially during the early stages of growth.
However, you must avoid very poor and stony soils on the hill. The loamy, alluvial, well-drained, aerated, and deep soils rich in organic matter are perfect for mango cultivation. In addition, mango prefers a pH range of 5.5 to 7.5. The extremely sandy, shallow, rocky, water-logged, heavy textured and alkaline or calcareous soils are not suitable for mango cultivation.
Banana Cultivation Basic Steps
Sterilize the soil by both physical and chemical means. Physical control measures include treatments with steam and solar energy. Chemical control methods include treatments with herbicides and fumigants. During soil solarization, the incoming solar radiation penetrates the transparent plastic film.
It helps to absorb the soil. The absorbed radiation converts into heat energy, which raises the soil temperature and kills many soil-borne organisms including plant pathogens and pests.
You can use random seedling rootstocks for propagation. However, you can adopt various methods in the vegetative propagation of mango. Inarching, veneer grafting, budding, stone epicotyl grafting, softwood grafting are the common methods.
Spacing varies from 10 m x 10 m, in the dry zones where growth is less, to 12 m x 12 m, in heavy rainfall areas and rich soils where abundant vegetative growth occurs. However, you can plant new dwarf hybrids like Amrapali at closer spacing.
In addition, you must fill the pits with original soil mixed with 20-25 kg well rotten FYM, 2.5 kg single superphosphate, and 1 kg MOP. You must give irrigation immediately after planting. In the initial one or two years, it is advisable to provide some shade to the young plants and also stake to make them grow straight.
Training & Pruning
Normally, mango trees require very less or no pruning. However, the training of the plants in the initial stages is essential to give them the proper shape. Especially when the graft has branched too low, the process of training becomes very important.
The amount and frequency of irrigation depend on the type of soil, prevailing climatic conditions, rainfall and its distribution and age of trees. Never irrigate during the monsoon months unless there are long spells of drought. During the first year when the plants are very young with a shallow root system, you must irrigate every 2-3 days in the dry season.
Nutrient uptake in mango is from the large volume of soils. Therefore, it is able to sustain growth even in low fertility soils. But, its efficient management involves the replenishment of the nutrients used up by the tree for its growth and maintenance, harvested produce, and natural losses from soils through leaching and runoff.
You can grow intercrops such as vegetables, legumes, short-duration, and dwarf fruit crops like papaya, guava, peach, plum, etc. However, you must depend on the agro-climatic factors of the region. You must take care of the water and nutrient requirements of the intercrops separately.
In general, 40-45 years old mango trees exhibit a decline in fruit yield because of the dense and overcrowded canopy. The trees do not get proper sunlight resulting in decreased production of shoots. However, you can convert these unproductive trees into productive ones by pruning the developed techniques.
Mango suffers from several diseases at all stages of its life. All the parts of the plant, namely, trunk, branch, twig, leaf, petiole, flower, and fruit are attacked by a number of pathogens including fungi, bacteria, and algae. They cause several kinds of rot, dieback, anthracnose, scab, necrosis, blotch, spots, mildew, etc. Some of these diseases like powdery mildew are of great economic importance as they cause heavy losses in mango production. Therefore, you must adopt the right management system.
Harvesting & Yield In Mango Cultivation
You can expect an average yield of 150-225 marketable fruits (50 kg) per plant per year. You can harvest mature green fruits with 8-10 mm long stalks to prevent sap burn and undesired spots on the ripened fruits.
However, you can decide maturity in mango fruit is the colour of the pulp, which turns cream to light yellow on maturity and hardening of stone.
After harvesting the mango fruits are graded according to their size, weight, colour, and maturity. Therefore, you can pack the fruits in corrugated fiberboard (CFB) boxes.
For export, you must enclose each individual fruit in a clean, white, soft, expandable, and netted type polystyrene sleeve to prevent bruising before packing in a box. Govt. of India has established the agri-export zones. It definitely helps to inspire commercial mango cultivation in the country.