Located simply 3 km away from the Gir forest nationwide park in Bhalchhel village, Gujarat, lies a singular mango orchard, providing a visible deal with.

Spread throughout 12.5 acres are 1000’s of mango bushes bearing greater than 200 types of the fruit from throughout the nation. A go to to the farm will go away you in awe of the huge assortment of mangoes the Jhariya household has sourced and preserved over the previous three a long time.

“Like Alphonso from Konkan and Dasheri variety from Uttar Pradesh, the Kesar variety of mangoes are famous from our region… In 1985, my grandfather Noor Ali Veera Jhariya migrated from neighbouring Sangodra village and purchased 10-acres of land in Bhalchhel to develop a mango orchard,” says Sumeet.

“Noor was a traditional farmer owning about six acres of land. He sold the old farm to buy more land. Since the new land was not optimum for farming and required a lot of land development and soil preparation, he could buy it at a lower price,” he tells The Better India.

Noor spent a variety of effort and time creating the land to make it fertile sufficient for farming. After a lot effort, he began rising the Kesari mango selection.

His efforts bore fruits as he earned desired earnings from the mango orchard. By 1990, he even upscaled his farm exercise by beginning a nursery to promote saplings to farmers for added revenue. Noor offered nearly 10,000 saplings a yr.

He was very captivated with mangoes, and his curiosity elevated when he discovered about different types of mangoes throughout India. “Around 1996, he started collecting different varieties of mangoes. He sourced 14 mango varieties initially and grew them in the orchard,” he explains.

Sumeet says slowly that his father, Samshuddin, additionally developed an curiosity. “Both my grandfather and father started travelling all over the country to procure different mango varieties. They inquired with experts who worked in the field, visited agriculture universities and met farmers who grew unique varieties,” he provides.

Today, the Jhariya household has 230 types of mangoes grown of their orchard, a few of which embody Chinna Rasam and Chandrama from South India, and Chaunsa, Langda and Daseri from the North. They even have dwarf mangoes and a seedless selection often called Sindhu-117. There are additionally different varieties that are native to the USA, Thailand, Australia, Europe and Israel. The farm additionally has fruit varieties similar to Katimon, Bajrang Baramasi, Baramasi Valsad and others that ship mangoes each three months.

“Visitors are often mistaken that we have developed these varieties. But it is not the case we have sourced these from people who were already growing them,” Sumeet clarifies.

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Anil Mango Farm House Gir national park
Varieties of mangoes displayed by Jhariya household in a mango competition.

Another distinctive side of their farm is that that they had a tree which bore 80 types of mangoes. “We had grafted different varieties into a single tree. The tree flourished for years, but then it was infected by a disease and eventually, died. We are in the process of creating another such tree,” he says.

Through a singular initiative, Sumeet says procuring the varieties from completely different elements was a difficult feat. “My grandfather and father explored and found them in an era with no internet or Google searches to make the work easier. They relied purely on personal networking and contacts as they learned about unique mango varieties grown by farmers across India. Also, they did not sell the fruits immediately. The plants had to be grown and waited for fruits to bear to check the authenticity of the promised varieties by the concerned farmers. There have been instances when a farmer sold a particular mango variety, but it turned out entirely different when we got the fruits. Confirming the credibility becomes of utmost importance in our business, and the process takes up to four years before the fruits are sold in the market,” Sumeet informs.

He claims that every one the mangoes are grown utilizing drip irrigation to save lots of water and natural farming strategies. “Unlike the conventional plantation, which has a gap of about 30-40 feet between two trees, our mango trees are grown using a high-density plantation technique with a gap of 10-25 feet. The method allows us to grow four times the trees compared to traditional methods,” he provides.

Anil Mango Farm House Gir national park
Resort rooms at Anil Farm House resort.

The household has additionally opened its doorways for guests to expertise dwelling within the mango orchard. “We have developed Anil Farm House, an eco-tourism entity that hosts guests throughout the year. It provides guests with an opportunity to learn more about organic mangos and their authenticity,” he says.

The household additionally sells about 2 lakh mango saplings a yr by the identify Anil Mango Farms and Nursery. “Anil is my elder brother, and we take care of the entire business as a family,” he provides.

Sumeet expresses concern that many mango farmers rising a single selection for years results in monoculture. “Mango varieties like Alphonso, Dasheri and others often pose uncertainty in productivity because there is a lack of cross-pollination between the varieties. We advise farmers who visit us for procuring saplings to adopt 10 per cent of other mango varieties to encourage cross-pollination,” he notes.

As we conclude our dialogue, he compares his mango orchard to an open, ‘live’ mango museum that permits them to see and be taught concerning the fruit throughout India and overseas.

Edited by Yoshita Rao


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