VISAKHAPATNAM: Amrutham Ice Fruit Mango, a new variety of the king of fruits, developed by a scientist Kongara Ramesh, is entering the international markets including the United Arab Emirates, the US and several other countries. This is the first mango created by a farmer using cross-pollination technique and can be frozen and eaten in all seasons. The uniqueness of the new mango variety is that it can be eaten like an ice fruit by peeling off its skin.
The new variety was developed three years ago after a 12-year experimentation by Ramesh. In the last three years, he planted the saplings extensively to estimate its yields. Now, Ramesh is taking care of 50,000 saplings at his own nursery at Tarluwada village in Anandapuram, just 28 km away from Visakhapatnam city.
Ramesh developed the variety by cross pollination between Amrapali and Chinnarasalu mango varieties, which are very sweet and can be frozen at sub-zero temperatures.
The Amrutham Ice Fruit Mango has been selected for the world horticulture show to be held at Germany in February, 2015. “It will be the first step to market Amrutham globally. I’m sure this will bring huge foreign currency to the country,” a proud Ramesh says.
After the great success of Amrutham, Ramesh is wasting no time for mass cultivation of the fruit. Making use of all the 100 trees he raised initially, he had developed a nursery of about 50,000 saplings aged between six months and two-and-half years. As many as 600 trees can be raised in an acre and they will bear fruit in about three to four years. The yield of the fruit is 15 tonnes per acre. Except for using organic manure in the first year, the trees need no special care.
Amrutham starts flowering from November. If the flowers are damaged in November, the cyclone season, it starts flowering in December and January with an assured yield of 90 per cent. Ramesh has also developed another variety called ‘Swagatham’. The speciality of the fruit is its aroma. One fruit of Swagatham’s aroma pervades the entire house. The variety was developed by cross-pollination between Imam Pasand and Chinna Rasalu.
Ramesh has plans to export the Amrutham Ice Fruit Mango to several countries. A large number of Telugu NRIs and foreigners are making enquiries about the fruit. However, surprisingly, neither the state government nor the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry visited the place to take further steps for bulk cultivation.
The Man Behind the Magic Fruits
A Guntur-based farmer and homoeo doctor settled in Visakhapatnam about 15 years ago, Ramesh started his own research at a 40-acre land owned by a private company. Having great interest in the mango crop and its varieties, Ramesh developed his ideas by cross-pollinating Andhra’s most popular mango Nuziveedu Chinnarasalu with North India’s famous variety Amrapali. He displayed it at the All India Horticulture Exhibition held in New Delhi last year, where a large number of foreigners tasted it and lauded it. Ramesh also sold the fruit in Vizag market. Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority witnessed the variety and congratulated Ramesh, who is set to market the fruit on a large-scale from the next season.