Farming like any venture requires patience and time. A newly planted mango tree is expected to produce fruit within a period of 5 years. The land preparation entails deep ploughing then harrowing and leveling accompanied by a gentle slope for ease of drainage. In dry zones, spacing varies from 10m by 10m but increases to 12m by 12m in areas with abundant rainfall and rich soils because of more vegetative growth.
Some of the characteristics that apply in differentiating varieties are the aroma, color, content, fiber, fruit shape, size, sweetness, seed size, taste, and resistance to diseases. Selection of a mango cultivar for production purposes should consider the following criteria:
- Adaptation to the local conditions ( e.g., rainfall patterns and dry spell)
- Alternating between flowering and fruiting
- Intended use and market requirements
- Level of tolerance to pest and disease infections.
- Shortage of grafted planting materials of new and improved higher yielding varieties
- Use of inferior seedlings by farmers
- Pests and diseases
- Marketing challenges
Uses and Food Value
• Mangoes can be used to make juice, pickles, chutney, fresh fruit, jam/jelly, canned and/or dried fruit and much more.
• Due to the many products that can be obtained from the mango, it makes it a potential source of foreign exchange for a developing country
• Source of employment for a considerable seasonal labour force
• the mango fruit is known for combating nutritional disorders.
• Source of Vitamins
Land should be ready by deep plowing followed by levelling with a mild slope. Spacing varies from 5m x 5m, within the dry zones where growth is in smaller amount, 8m x 8 m, in substantial downfall areas and rich soils where rich vegetative growth happens.
New dwarf hybrids like Amrapali is planted at nearer spacing. Holes are stuffed with top soil mixed with 20-25 kilo well rotten mature. One year previous healthy, straight growing grafted mangoes from Oxfarm Organic Ltd is planted at the center of holes in conjunction with the ball of the intact soil throughout season in such a simplest way that the roots aren’t distended and the graft union is on top of the bottom level.
Plants should be irrigated forthwith when planting. Within the initial one or 2 years, it’s better to produce some shade to the young plants and additionally stake to create them grow straight.
Young plants are more opt for correct institution. Just in case of full-grown up trees, irrigation at ten to fifteen days interval from fruit set to maturity is useful for up yield. However, irrigation isn’t counseled for 2-3 months before flowering because it is probably going to market vegetative growth at the expense of flowering.
Orchard floor management
The aim of building mulch can be achieved by simply bringing in straw. However, experienced growers caution that straw has often been responsible for bringing in too many problems – especially weed problems. An additional issue for mango production relates to avoiding excessive nitrogen release (resulting from decomposition of the organic material) especially during the fruit ripening period.
The basis of organic orchard floor management is to grow grass to build mulch. Typically a range of preferred species are established that contribute various system functions including:
Generate biomass/organic matter (roots and tops) that feeds soil biological activity as the foundation for sustaining soil conditions, nutrient availability and organic matter cycling:
- build soil structure and improve resilience to soil compaction and erosion
- protect the soil from extremes of water stress, heat and cold
- attract and harbour beneficial predators and biodiversity to minimise pest pressure
- provide competition to suppress problem weeds
- facilitate rapid decomposition of diseased tissue
- improve trafficability
- attract bees and other pollinators.
A well established plant cover of preferred species over the orchard floor provides the basis for out-competing and controlling weeds. Managing the orchard floor cover requires periodic mowing and mulching, and these events can be designed and timed to optimise impact on target weeds.
Harvesting and yield
The yield of mango varies greatly, depending upon the variety and agro-climatic conditions prevailing in a region.
Grafted mango trees start bearing from the fifth year onward. However, seedling trees may take 8-10 years.
At the start of bearing at the age of 3 – 4 years the yield may be as low as 10-20 fruits (2-3 kg) per tree, rising to 50-75 fruits (10-15 kg) in the subsequent years, and to about 500 fruits (100 kg) in its tenth year. In the age group-20- 40 years, a tree bears 1,000-3,000 fruits (200-600 kg) in an ”on” year. The productive age of a grafted mango tree is usually 40-50 years, after which the yield declines.