~An account by Mr. Sreenavasalu, a Mango farmer from Andhra Pradesh
As a child, I recall accompanying my father on trips to our mango farms, where I was first introduced to the king of fruits. The peacefulness of the farms, with their expansive orchards overflowing with fruit, left a lasting impression on me. Little did I know that years later, in my 50s, mangoes would become not only my livelihood, but also a passion of mine.
At the end of each season, as the orchards are stripped of their fruit, I am struck by the absence of the once-bountiful mangoes. However, this marks the beginning of a new chapter. In Andhra Pradesh, where my orchard is located, the mango season comes to an end in May. During the months of May and June, the orchards are largely inactive, as it is crucial for the plants to rest. From July onwards, we begin pruning and preparing the orchard for the upcoming season. This is vital for maintaining the health of the plants and ensuring that they receive the necessary nutrients for a successful harvest.
We follow a strict schedule, spreading necessary medicines/chemicals and manure at the appropriate times. During the period of July-August, we apply manure to ensure that the plants receive optimal nutrition as the monsoon season begins. After this, there is another resting period from August to October, which is equally crucial, as the plants are on the verge of producing their first flowers. In November and December, the first flowers bloom, and we provide another round of manure depending on the age of the plant.
In my orchard, which boasts around 150-200 fruit-bearing trees, it is essential to carefully monitor each stage, from flowering to fruiting. This allows us to intervene when necessary and maintain the health of the plants for a successful harvest.
The soil in our region is reddish in nature, and combined with the surrounding water channels and climate, we are able to yield a variety of mangoes, including Banganapalle, Imam Pasand, Badami, Sindhura, and Tothapuri. Although we grow many types of mangoes, my personal favorites are Imam Pasand and Banganapalle, due to their sweetness and the memories I associate with them from childhood.
Caring for the plants that nourish us is a privilege. Through good and bad seasons, we work together to ensure that the orchard prospers. The bond between a farmer and their farm is priceless, and to me, it is sacred.