Let’s Look Mango in History

(By *Sidra Bashir, **Mujahid Ali, *Dr. Shahid Mahmood)

(*IFSN, UOS; **Horticulture, UOS)

Mangoes was originated in the South Asia and India. Buddhist monk who are the members of religious committee, grow himself this fruit because mango is considered as sacred fruit and Buddhist also think deeply about the mango tree. Both mango and pistachio belong to same family, and their family is Anacardiacae. Mango seeds transported along human from different countries like mango travel from Asia to Middle East, South Africa to America round about 300-400 AD. Mangoes cultivated near equator in the countries like Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Brazil and Haiti and then sold in US. Only Florida, California Hawaii and Puerto Rico can grow mangoes because mango need tropical climate which is present in these countries. The territory of U.S has been cultivating mango fruit from last 30 years. Mangoes are cultivating for export, but majority of this fruit is go to Europe instead of mainland of U.S. In California a valley Coachella produced mangoes on 200 acres and about of the produced mangoes certified as organic. As mangoes are highly susceptible to frost, the farmers who have their own appropriate land are hesitating to grow mangoes instead of grapes and citrus. Grapes and citrus are tired and true crops. In Hawaii the total estimated space on which mangoes cultivated is about 300 acres and nearly all these fruits are sold locally.

Mangoes was cultivated in South Asia for thousands of years and stretched Southeast Asia between the 5th and 4th centuries BCE. By the tenth century BCE, cultivation had begun in East Africa. The fourteenth-century, Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta reported it at Mogadishu. Then cultivation was started in Brazil and Bermuda, the West Indies, and Mexico, where a proper climate permits its development. South Florida has been also cultivated many varieties of mango and this was initiated by USDA (United States department of agriculture) as a part of seedling program and spearheaded by the founder of USDA section of foreign seed and plant introduction “David Fairchild”. This program was given to introduce the mango varieties to the other region with the goal of produced mangoes and then exported them.

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After long time work, there were new many different varieties of mangoes were developed and then introduced to growers in different parts of the world. By this way, many different varieties of mangoes were grown all around the world like Tommy, Malkin, Haden and Kent. Florida is one of the largest state that grow mangoes on large scale round about 7000 acres in the 1900’s. But the mango industry in Florida was finished or diminished due to urbanization, hurricane and competition with the other countries. But today, it is estimated that there is less than 1000 acres of land in Florida is still under

production and most of the mangoes are made for local growers and meet the need of the markets. In addition to this, the backyard tree in Florida continue the way towards success and bring happiness to residents across the southern part of the state. Moreover, despite that backyard, the Fairchild Tropical Garden name after the David Fairchild (founder of USDA) continue to grow many varieties of mangoes and work with the other mango growers all overall the world and bring a lot of profit from this. Florida is at one of the top state in mango producing from the beginning of the mango production. International Mango Festival which is celebrated each year give mango lovers a chance to eat new and different varieties of mangoes and other new things made by mangoes. Spanish explorers brought mangoes to South Africa and Mexico in 1600’s. Mango is one of the most eatable fruit in the world. Mango is the national fruit of Pakistan. Mango is drupe fruit and have evergreen tree. Its scientific name is Mangifera indca. Mango is also called stone fruit. It is divided into three portions, the outer portion is skin called epicarp, fleshy eatable portion is mesocarp and internal stone in close in a seed is called endocarp. Due to presence of stone in mango is called as stone fruit. Mango has many varieties and each variety has its own taste. Different people like different varieties of mangoes. For example, some people like to eat Sindhri while other like Langra and many other varieties of mangoes are liked all over the world. There are about 1000 different varieties of mangoes are grown throughout the world. Some of the varieties of mangoes grown in Pakistan are Sindhri, Gulabkhas, Langra, Malda, Anwar Ratol, Collector, Neelum, Samer Bahashist and Fajri Kalan, Black Chonsa, White Chonsa, Sensation etc. Mango festival has become very popular in Multan. There were 216 varieties of mango in the festival in 2017 in Multan. Pakistani mango is best all over the world for its taste.

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Mango is the staple in cuisines in all tropical and subtropical countries where it grown from South Asia to South America. Mangoes can be raised from seeds and propagated by grafting. Mango plantation are in square system with filler in the center of the square (Quincunx system). Plant to plant distance is different for different varieties from 11 m to 15 m. Mango tree live long for about 300 years.

Mango is very beneficial fruit too. Mango has large nutritional value and help to reduce many diseases. There are about so many benefits of mangoes are known. These lower the blood sugar level, Blood pressure management, Boost brain health, possible protection from muscular degeneration, boosting bone health, lower heart disease risk, Combat cancer, alleviate anemia, relive constipation, Anti-aging attributes, increase immunity and avoid asthma. In short, mangoes are beloved fruit and that is also a nutritional powerhouse.

Mujahid Ali

I have recently completed my Ph.D. in Institute of Horticultural Sciences, UAF previously worked as Visiting Lecturer in Horticulture UOS, worked as Research Fellow in ACIAR project on vegetables and worked as Teaching Assitant in Horticulture UAF. Moreover, Ph.D. IRSIP done in the United States.

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