Palmer, new mango variety in Chapainawabganj
Palmer, an US variety of mango, is going to be grown in the country commercially as its experimental production has been completed successfully in Chapainawabganj, the mango capital of the country.
Local scientists say the mango will gain popularity in Bangladesh for its attractive reddish colour, size, and availability in late season.
The fruit, which originated in Florida, USA, is being commercially grown in many other countries, including neighbouring India, as it has a good export value.
A late-season cultivar, palmer mango starts ripening between mid-July and August. Only Aswina mangoes are available in the local market during that period.
The medium-sized plants of palmer grow best in moist, tropical and subtropical climates. The soil and climatic condition of Chapainawabganj is ideal for growing palmer mango, said scientists at the Horticulture Centre in Chapainawabganj.
Each palmer mango weighs about 350 grams on average.
A scientist of the Horticulture Centre had brought four palmer saplings from abroad around 10 years ago and planted those at the centre.
Scientists at the centre observed those saplings over the year. They find that the fruit bearing capacity of the four trees is very good this year.
After completing research and observation, the scientists have decided to expand farming of palmer mango in the country, said Mozdar Hossain, deputy director of Horticulture Centre in Chapainawabganj.
Palmer mango tree is a "regular bearing" tree, meaning it produces almost same amount of crop every year. It produces a lot of fruit at a very uniform size, he added.
The flesh of the fruit is almost fibreless. It has a pleasant aroma. Its total soluble sugar (TSS) is 15 percent, which is less than other popular mango varieties in the country.
Palmer is an ideal mango for those who like less sweet. Its demand is high due to its taste and late ripening period.
Mozdar Hossain expressed optimism that Palmer mango will be exported after meeting the local demand in the coming years.
He said they will produce around 1,000 Palmer saplings this year and will sell those to mango growers for Tk 300 to Tk 500 each.
Muhammad Nazrul Islam, deputy director of Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), said mango orchards on 34,871 hectares in Chapainawabganj have produced 2.5 lakh tonnes of mangoes this year.