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INDIA 2015 : Mango orchards sound death knell for river


The once mighty river Gayathripuzha has turned into a trickle despite a relatively better monsoon in the eastern region of Palakkad.— Photo: K.K. Mustafah

Paddy fields, which used to recharge Gayathripuzha, are being increasingly converted

Rapid changes in land use patterns at Muthalamada and Pattenchery grama panchayats, located on the eastern borders of Palakkad district, in the recent years are contributing to the imminent death of the Gayathripuzha, confirms a study conducted by Kerala State Land Use Board.

As per data available with the board, 67 per cent paddy lands in the two panchayats, which earlier facilitated groundwater recharge, have been converted to mango and coconut groves.

The Gayathri river is the major feeder of Bharathapuzha and a perennial source of drinking and irrigational water for thousands of families in Kollengode, Nenmara, Alathur, and Vadakkancherry. 

Being the mango capital of Kerala, Muthalamada and adjacent Pattenchery are promoting large-scale conversion of paddy fields to mango farming.

“Paddy fields that ensure steady seepage into the river have all been drained by creation of huge drainage channels called ‘akampadom chals.’ In other panchayats in the river basin, the extent of conversion is just 12 per cent, but here the paddy fields along the critical ridge line, called potta kandoms ,
have undergone massive conversion to garden lands. This is as harmful as dismantling a hill upon a ridge,” say the board’s regional assistant director R. Rugmini and agricultural officer V. Bindu.

“With widespread conversion of paddy lands, the overland flow to the river is reduced.

Ponds along the path of the overland flow are in an utter state of neglect. In Muthalamada, conversion of ponds to garden land is picking up pace
. Sparse natural streams have now lost their connectivity to the main river. When the groundwater availability of this region is thus seriously hampered, farmers heavily depend on borewells,” says their study.

“Borewells are sunk indiscriminately all over this fragile land, further depleting the groundwater.

In Muthalamada, their density is as high as 2 or 3 numbers per acre and the average depth ranges from 400 to 600 ft. The borewells are used to irrigate the mango orchards. In Elavencherry, even paddy is widely irrigated using borewells
,” they say.

“The quality of groundwater and surface water in this region should be investigated. The mango orchards of Muthalamada are heavily dependent on pesticide sprays and hormone application to soil.Spraying by means of tillers and power sprayers creates a huge aerial drift that may pollute water sources of the area. Leaching through soil is also possible,” says the study.

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While "Flavor" is very subjective, and each country that grows mangoes is very nationalistic, these are the mango varieties that are the most sought after around the world because of sweetnesss (Brix) and demand.

The Chaunsa has a Brix rating in the 22 degree level which is unheard of!
Carabao claims to be the sweetest mango in the world and was able to register this in the Guiness book of world records.
Perhaps it is time for a GLOBAL taste test ???

In alphabetical order by Country....



Alphonso (mango)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alphonso (हापुस Haapoos in Marathi, હાફુસ in Gujarati, ಆಪೂಸ್ Aapoos in Kannada) is a mango cultivar that is considered by many[who?] to be one of the best in terms of sweetness, richness and flavor. 

It has considerable shelf life of a week after it is ripe making it exportable. 

It is also one of the most expensive kinds of mango and is grown mainly in Kokan region of western India.

 It is in season April through May and the fruit wei…

INDIA 2016 : Mango production in state likely to take a hit this year

TNN | May 22, 2016, 12.32 PM IST

Mangaluru: Vagaries of nature is expected to take a toll on the production of King of Fruits - Mango - in Karnataka this year. A combination of failure of pre-monsoon showers at the flowering and growth stage and spike in temperature in mango growing belt of the state is expected to limit the total production of mango to an estimated 12 lakh tonnes in the current season as against 14 lakh tonnes in the last calendar year.

However, the good news for fruit lovers is that this could see price of mangoes across varieties decrease marginally by 2-3%. This is mainly on account of 'import' of the fruit from other mango-growing states in India, said M Kamalakshi Rajanna, chairperson, Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation Ltd.

Karnataka is the third largest mango-growing state in India after Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Inaugurating a two-day Vasanthotsava organized by Shivarama Karantha Pilikula Nisargadhama and the Corporation at P…

Mangoes date back 65 million years according to research ...

Experts at the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany (BSIP) here have traced the origin of mango to the hills of Meghalaya, India from a 65 million year-old fossil of a mango leaf. 

The earlier fossil records of mango (Mangifera indica) from the Northeast and elsewhere were 25 to 30 million years old. The 'carbonized leaf fossil' from Damalgiri area of Meghalaya hills, believed to be a mango tree from the peninsular India, was found by Dr R. C. Mehrotra, senior scientist, BSIP and his colleagues. 

After careful analysis of the fossil of the mango leaf and leaves of modern plants, the BISP scientist found many of the fossil leaf characters to be similar to mangifera.

An extensive study of the anatomy and morphology of several modern-day species of the genus mangifera with the fossil samples had reinforced the concept that its centre of origin is Northeast India, from where it spread into neighbouring areas, says Dr. Mehrotra. 

The genus is believed to have disseminated into neighb…