Mango Called Sadabahar

Link to my article https://www.thebetterindia.com/140411/farmer-created-sadabahar-mangoes-kishan-suman/

I have copy pasted the same below:

Intimately associated with the history of agriculture and civilisation in India, we have had a love affair with mangoes since long, but it was Hsüan-Tsang, the seventh-century Chinese traveller who brought our fascination for Mangifera Indica to the world’s notice.

A country which has 1,500 varieties of mangoes, as a nation, we get excited whenever a new aam or amba variety makes its appearance. We each have a different way of eating, peeling and slicing or making aam ras with milk and jaggery—the luscious and fragrant fruit is summer’s greatest gift.

The same is happening with ‘Sadabhar’, a mango which flowers thrice a year.

Developed by Shree Kishan Suman, a Kota-based horticulturist and farmer, Sadabahar is a recent entrant on the mango-sphere and has quite a few similarities with Alphonso. Mango growers the world over are making a beeline for this new variety of the ‘king of fruits’ to have in their orchards.

Many in the know are likely to confuse Sadabahar with ‘Baramasi’ or ‘Dofasla’, which flowers and fruits twice or thrice a year but the former stand out due to its table quality, its lack of fibre, shape and size—all akin to Alphonso.

Popular with the masses due to its adaptability, nutritive value, rich variety, delicious taste and excellent flavour, Indian mangoes rank first among the world’s mango producing countries, accounting for about 50% of the world’s mango production.

The word ‘mango’ comes from the Portuguese ‘manga’, which is probably derived from the Malayalam manga. It is believed that the Portuguese introduced vegetative propagation methods in India during the 15th century when they established trading outposts along the western coast of India. These were then used to clone superior mono-embryonic trees, like the Alphonso, named after the Portuguese general Afonso de Albuquerque.

The most important mango cultivars of India like Alphonso, Dashehari, Langra etc., are selections that were made at the time of Mughal Emperor Akbar (1542–1605 AD) and therefore, have been propagated vegetatively for several hundred years.

Fifty-two-year-old Suman of village Girdharpura, 15 kms from Kota, belongs to a family of farmers who used to grow rice and wheat but gave them up due to the fluctuating market rates.

In 1995, they started cultivating rose, mogra and mayurpankhi (thuja) and continued doing so for the next three years. During this period, he developed rose plants which yielded seven colours of rose in a single plant and made good returns.

“I thought if I could work with roses, why not with mangoes. I acquired mango stones of different varieties and nurtured them. When the saplings became big enough, I grafted them on rootstock,” recalls Suman, sitting among saplings of different sizes and ages, bearing flowers and fruits.

In 2000, he identified a mango tree in his orchard, which had bloomed in the three seasons viz. January-February, June-July and September-October. He prepared five grafted mango trees, using them as a scion. This tree had a good growth habit and had dark green leaves. Growing them for years, he found the mango trees immune to major diseases and common disorders.

Soon the word spread and one Sundaram Verma, a volunteer with Honey Bee Network, informed the National Innovation Foundation (NIF), the institutional space for grassroots technological innovators and outstanding traditional knowledge, about Suman’s innovation. “NIF asked me not to sell or gift Sadabahar saplings, and for 11 long years I followed their advice while it was grown by them at different places in the country to authenticate the veracity of my claims,” says Suman, who took about fifteen years to develop his variety.

But for Suman’s nursery-cum-orchard, Sadabhar yielded fruits in Kamal Hissaria’s two-acre farm near Aalniya Mata Mandir on Kota Jhalawar Road, 30 kms from Kota railway station.

Suman-in-his-orchard-500x667

“I gifted him 20 plants in 2012 and the trees have been yielding fruits. When the fruit ripens, the skin acquires orange colour, while the insides have a saffron hue,” says Suman.

Hissaria who runs a tea blending unit in Kota is among the few who can enjoy the delicious and sweet mangoes three times in a year, unlike others who have to wait for the summers to have their ‘king of fruits’.

In March 2017, Suman was conferred with the Farm Innovation Award during the 9th Biennial Grassroots Innovation and Outstanding Traditional Knowledge held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

According to Hardev Choudhary, Innovation Officer, NIF, Sadabahar blooms throughout the year. “The fruits are sweeter in taste audit and developed as a dwarf variety which is suitable for kitchen gardening and can be grown in pots for some years. It has great potential, unlike the existing varieties, and due to its off-season availability, it is likely to benefit the growers immensely,” he says.

Perhaps the nation’s or in fact, the world’s only hybrid mango that flowers thrice a year, Sadabahar has been registered under the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act as a farmers’ variety.

Will it be able to dethrone favourites like Alphonso, Langra or Dashehari? It’s too early to tell. Meanwhile, ICAR-Central Institute of Subtropical Horticulture (CISH), Lucknow, which has the world’s largest germplasm of mangoes in its field gene bank, has acquired the saplings of Sadabahar.

Work at CISH is on to determine factors such as preferred agri-climatic zone and soil quality for Sadabahar to prosper. Dr K K Srivastava, Principal Scientist, CISH, says, “We now have five plants of Sadabahar mangoes and are studying its performance. It will take us close to three to four years to arrive at any conclusion.”

But mango lovers are unwilling to wait. And ever since Suman’s mangoes were planted at Rashtrapati Bhavan, his phone has been continuously ringing.

So far, Suman has sold over 800 plants, available for Rs 1,000 each, to nurseries and individuals in Delhi, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Telangana. “I have even received inquiries for saplings from individuals in Nigeria, Pakistan, Kuwait, Iraq, UK, and the USA, but don’t know how to go about it,” shares Suman.

Mangoes take around five summers to yield fruits. Growers need to wait that long but they are not complaining, for Sadabahar is unlike other mango varieties. Isn’t that worth the wait!

You can contact Suman at 9829142509.

The article appeared on http://www.thebetterindia.com on May 8,2018

 

 

Advertisements

Mango March

Now it’s the time you offered them some water. I’m talking of your mango trees. Horticulturists I spoke to told me that if mangoes (which are as tiny as almond) have appeared on your favourite Totapuri or Alphonso trees it’s the right time to water them. Around 50 to 100lts each day till the second week of April if you’re looking for the luscious variety.
mangoIt’s a general practice that mango trees are not watered in the post monsoon months. The flowers appear in the beginning of February and by early March the fruits make their appearance. And that’s when you should hydrate them.

Mango Tree Care

Time you took care of your fruit-bearing trees, especially mango. It’s Dussehra and the monsoon has left but for occasional showers which trouble you. Get your farm free of the grass which has occupied your plot following the rains. Don’t burn them you can use it later for mulching or depositing it in the vermicompost pit.

Once you’ve done through loosen the soil 2ft from the shadow of the canopy. Don’t dig the soil but loosen it. It’s done to let the secondary root to receive plenty of sun.

Next leave 4 parts of lime, preferably the rock variety, in a bucketful of water. Take one part of copper sulphate, make a poultice of it with piece of cloth and leave it hanging with a stick in a half bucket of water. Leave both lime and copper sulphate for three days. Do stir it often with a stick. On the fourth day mix four parts of lime and one part of copper sulphate in a bucket of water till you get a sky blue coloured liquid.

Now dip a brush in the sky blue liquid, take it out and paint the stem of the mango tree moving it from bottom to top. This is done to avoid insects to attack the fruit tree. You can do it with other fruit bearing trees too. 

My Mango Memories

You can divide people into two groups—those who love mangoes and those who don’t. Those who do, have their ‘mango memories’. Memories of God’s own fruit! Memories of the sunshine liquid oozing from the skin as you squeeze the fruit! My mango-memory is of collecting the storm-felled fruit beneath the giant and sprawling mango tree standing beside the monsoon river in my father’s ancestral village, Debipur, in Howrah district of West Bengal, which we visited during our summer vacation.
The memories of those sunny, wonderful, summer days of never-ending fun and digging into juicy mangoes are evergreen. The pre-monsoon storm, known as kal baiskahi in Bangla generally struck in the evening. More so when it was dark around, the moon cruising gently behind the clouds and stray lightening illumining the horizon krrakk, krrakk and krrakk. The wind singing shaeen, shaeen as we jumped out of the palm thatched hut running like a pack of wolves towards the lone mango tree, which I was told has been around since Pulin Bihari, my grandfather was juts knee-high. Which meant that the tree had witnessed some sixty summers. Standing beneath the tree we couldn’t see much but heard the occasional thud, thud as the mangoes came down loosened by the wind and fell all around us. With battery torches in our hands we rushed to the source of the sound and picked the lime-green fruit. At times the fruits fell like a shower. Our makeshift bags and towels heavy with the fruit we rushed back home as the wind quieted.
Next morning we would feast on our ‘catch’ squatting on mud floor. The unbridled pleasure of sinking one’s teeth into the succulent flesh, the juice dribbling down our chins, hands and arms, and licking one’s fingers in delight is still etched in my memory. As we returned, our 15-day long vacation over, and resumed our schools everything was forgotten. As we grew up our annual summer visits became lesser and lesser and my ‘mango memories’ rested somewhere in the recesses of the mind.
Few years’ back I learnt that my uncle, father’s elder brother, who looked after our landed property had sold off the mango tree. The new buyer had chopped the tree down and made a good sum selling its timber. That was the day I felt as the throat of my mango memory has been slit. The stump of the tree still stands testimony to those days and tells the river when it flows that once here stood a mango tree which gave fruits to the world.
Then, mangoes were just a summer fruit to be gathered from under the tree and enjoyed during summer vacations to our ancestral home. As I grew up and work took me to different places in the country I was introduced to the pleasures of fruit with exotic names like Dussheri, Langda, Totapuri, Alphonso, Kesar, Banganapalli, Fazli, Chausa and others and realized they each had a distinct taste and flavour.
A year back I was introduced to Malgoba, thanks to colleague Devanshu. Grown in villages of Valsad, South Gujarat, the fruit which is harvested during May end is relished for its thick curd-like juice. Britain’s pickle king Lakhubhai Pathak sourced raw mangoes from Valsad namely Payeri, Rajapuri and Malgoba.
In fact, the so-called alphonso juice which you buy year-round from your neighbourhood sweetmeat shop is nothing but the juice of Malgoba with alphonso essence.
Now a resident of Mumbai, Devanshu hails from village Umarasadi in Killa Pardi taluka and tells me that the locals consume Malogoba juice like they are having water! Once the juice is ready a spoon of ghee, powdered dry ginger and cumin seeds and salt is added before downing it.
“My father who is around 80 still consumes nearly two litres of mango juice in one sitting,” he says.

This was earlier published in my blog sunshineanyday.wordpress

No Showers Please

It seems it will rain today, said my daughter while leaving for work.

Don’t even speak of rain, I remarked having overheard her.

Why? She asked.

Yes it was cloudy and there was likelihood of a shower or more. But I prayed in my heart: God don’t do it.

If it did, my entire mango crop, like other brother farmers will be destroyed. Their year-long efforts would go waste and they incur huge losses.

I’ve started thinking like a farmer. For a city dweller the rain brings in a respite from the sweltering heat nevertheless followed with increase in humidity and sweaty days.

The appearance of the King is a joyous occasion. I mean the King of Fruits, the Mango. Though it may be called Aam in Hindi which means ordinary it’s in fact very khaas (special).  If I had my way I would call it the sunshine fruit, thanks to its contents.  It’s over a month since mangoes appeared on four of my plants. When I brought the images home, clicked with my phone, members of my family were delighted. It’s a nice feeling seeing your plants fruits. Since then with every visit the first thing I do is check the fruit’s length. Like the mother feels the growth of the foetus. As the fruits grow in size, the branches yield giving into its burden: This what I find remarkable.  
2013-03-17-0290

The mangoes are around four inches long though in the pictures they look much bigger. Which prompted wifey to say: You should have got couple of them for jam. How images can fool?

It would be another month a half before they can plucked and brought home. It has been four years since I planted them—all, a year-old saplings, on a July morning. This year July It’s the turn of the Banganpalli duo who were waiting to be planted.

I rarely write my posts so early in the day but here I’m today because I send this plea: Pleaaaaaaaaaaaaaaase no showers and hope its heard.

Mango Memories

You can divide people into two groups—those who love mangoes and those who don’t. Those who do, have their ‘mango memories’. Memories of the sunshine liquid oozing from the skin as you squeeze the fruit! My mango-memory is of collecting the storm-felled fruit beneath the giant and sprawling mango tree standing beside the monsoon river in my father’s ancestral village, Debipur, in Howrah district of West Bengal, which we visited during our summer vacations.

The memories of those sunny, wonderful, summer days of never-ending fun and digging into juicy mangoes are still evergreen. The pre-monsoon storm, known as kal baiskahi in Bangla generally struck in the evening. More so when it was dark around, the moon cruising gently behind the clouds and stray lightening illumining the horizon  krrakk, krrakk and krrakk. The wind singing shaeen, shaeen as we jumped out of the palm thatched hut running like a pack of wolves towards the lone mango tree, which I was told has been around since Pulin Bihari, my grandfather was just knee-high. Which meant that the tree had witnessed some sixty summers. Standing beneath the tree we couldn’t see much but heard the occasional thud, thud as the mangoes came down loosened by the wind and fell all around us. With battery torches in our hands we rushed to the source of the sound and picked the lime-green fruit. At times the fruits fell like a shower. Our makeshift bags and towels heavy with the fruit we rushed back home as the wind quieted.

Next morning we would feast on our ‘catch’ squatting on mud floor. The unbridled pleasure of sinking one’s teeth into the succulent flesh, the juice dribbling down our chins, hands and arms, and licking one’s fingers in delight is still etched in my memory. As we returned, our 15-day long vacation over, and resumed our schools those kal baishaki evenings were forgotten overtaken with immediate worries of homework—school—homework. As we grew up our annual summer visits became lesser and lesser and my ‘mango memories’ rested somewhere in the recesses of the mind.

Few years’ back I learnt that my uncle, father’s elder brother, who looked after our landed property had sold off the mango tree. The new buyer had chopped the tree down and made a good sum selling its timber. That was the day I felt as the throat of my mango memory has been slit. The stump of the tree still stands testimony to those days and tells the river when it flows that once here stood a mango tree which gave fruits to the world and underneath whom young foots came to play.

Then, mangoes were just a summer fruit to be gathered from under the tree and enjoyed during summer vacations in our ancestral home. As I grew up and work took me to different places in the country I was introduced to the pleasures of fruit with exotic names like Dussheri, Langda, Totapuri, Alphonso, Kesar, Banganapalli, Fazli, Chausa and others and realized they each had a distinct taste and flavour.

A year back I was introduced to Malgoba, thanks to  a colleague. Grown in villages of  Valsad,  South Gujarat, the fruit which is harvested during May end is relished for its thick curd-like juice. Britain’s pickle king Lakhubhai Pathak sourced raw mangoes from Valsad namely Payeri, Rajapuri and Malgoba.

In fact, the so-called alphonso juice which you buy year-round from your neighbourhood sweetmeat shop is nothing but the juice of Malgoba with alphonso essence.

Now a resident of Mumbai, the colleague hails from village Umarasadi in Killa Pardi taluka and tells me that the locals consume Malogoba juice like they are having water! Once the juice is ready a spoon of  ghee, powdered dry ginger and cumin seeds and salt is added before downing it.

“My father who is around 80 still consumes nearly two litres of mango juice in one sitting,” he says.

 

How do you describe the joy of seeing a pair of mangoes hanging gently from a leafless stem of a branch, gently swayed by the passing breeze on a summer day?  It becomes more difficult to give words to that when you’ve waited for three long years, having planted a sapling on a sunless June day after the earth has accepted the first showers with joy and humility. Happy that the days of parch just a memory.

You have waited for three long years. Winter, autumn, summer and rains come and go. And then on a February you come across the flowers. A month and a half passes and the fruits of earth are shaped into a mango. Last week I picked up a bunch of them and brought them home and spread the labour of my love on the kitchen table.

“Do you mean they’re from our farm,” wife exclaimed with happiness. By noon her mother, brother and her friends knew that Hiraman had been rewarded by the fruits of the season.

The mangoes now reside in glass jars in our kitchen in their new avatar-jam. Harvest of sunshine and sugar.

Coming back to describing the joy with which I began this post let me quote a poet: What does he plant who plants a tree? He plants a friend of sun and sky; He plants the flag of breeze free; The shaft of beauty, towering high….  

Mango flowers

Last Sunday when I visited I had the biggest surprise of my life as I went along checking out the plants. A routine I indulge in the moment I step into my farm.  I stroked them, hummed a favourite song, checked out if there were any weeds around, whether any pest had attacked, remove the dead leaves, watered them etc. While I approached these two mango trees–one a Rajapuri and another Haphus. Hardly five feet tall, I saw them ringed with  flowers and fragrant. In fact, the branches were stooping due to the weight of the flowers.

Having witnessed the ‘miracle’: for me it was one; I danced with joy and called for SS to share my happiness. We both were overjoyed. When I broke the news, on reaching home my wife started singing the famed abhang: mogar fulala, mogar fulala…

Increasing mango’s shelf life

You buy the ripe mangoes and have to finish them in the next two days. How about if you extend the shelf life of your favourite Dasseri, Langda or Aplhonso?

That would soon be possible. If the research now being conducted at the Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), Chandigarh, meets with success, the shelf life of mangoes and guavas would be considerably increased. The Institute has come up with alternative edible coating materials from rice, cassava, chitosan and turmeric by developing starch-based edible bio-coating, with clinical trials still going on before it hits the market.

Elaborating on the technique Dr Ramesh Kumar, scientist (horticulture), CIPHET, Abohar, Punjab, in an e-mail interview to The Indian Express, stated that the fruits are dipped in a starch-based solution, dried by air and conserved at ambient temperature. The formation of starch film or bio-coating is based on the principle of gelatinisation of starch that occurs above certain temperature with excess of water. After cooling, it forms a transparent film with properties of biodegradable product. These coatings are less permeable to reparatory gases such as O2 but are more permeable to water vapour, compared to commercial wax coatings and other plastic covering material.

 

The bio-coating was now being tested for its effects on external and internal quality parameters for fruits like mango and guava. The research going on at present proved that bio-coating can extend the shelf life of mango by four days (even more days if moisture loss of fruit is checked) as compared to fruit that is not coated.

Dr Kumar said the current developed bio-coatings presented beneficial effect in maintaining the fruit firmness even after eight days of ambient storage and the fruits were well accepted by the consumers at the end of storage period.

 

Did a jig for my mango tree

I spoke to my plants today. After being away from my farm for over a fortnight in the hills of Himachal Pradesh I had been missing my farm and its green inhabitants. Mango trees as high as my shoulder, the lichi plant my friend brought all the way from Muzzafarpur and the jackfruit tree, which crossed my head in November, visited me in my dreams. I haven’t named them as yet but now as they frequent me in my sleep I think I should christen them.

This Sunday I reached my farm earlier than ever, thanks to the 8.10am bus from Badlapur station which came dot on time. The summer months does wonder to the plants. They look healthy, are vibrant and waiting to be caressed.

I said sweet words to my Ratna hapus, stroked the chikoo tree, sat down close to horizontally spreading fig tree, sang Nimboda, Nimbooda to my lemon tree brought from West Bengal, shouted at the banana plantain for refusing to gain height and did a jig around the papaya tree for being generous with its fruits which I have shared with my neighbours, friends and visitors to my farm.

I never knew Napoleon Hill or Dale Carnegie’s tricks to make friends could be useful when dealing with plants too. It was scientist Jagdish Chandra Bose who said plants too have emotions and am seeing it in action. Care for them and they respond. I have yet to play music for the plants but have already downloaded some soothing Carnatic music on my mobile, which I plan to play on my next visit.