Organically grown mangoes catch on

Himalayan News Service

Ahmedabad, April 27:

An organically grown variety of mango here is attracting lovers of this luscious summer fruit.

The mangoes, available in the Kesar variety, are priced slightly higher than the regular mangoes and enjoy their own customer base. The initiative for the organic mango comes from the Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions (Sristi), an NGO. The group, promoted by Anil Gupta of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA), sold 6,000 kg of organic mango last year. It has arranged for procuring 10,000 kg this summer.

Said Amish Joshi, a consumer, “I heard about it from a relative last year and found the fruit tasty. This year others are asking me to register their orders.”

“We started retail sales of organic mangoes last year. Going by the good response, we plan to sell more this year,” Ramesh Patel, coordinator of Sristi, said.

To promote organic farming, the NGO works with select growers and provides them know how and a retail outlet.

“Awareness for health benefits of organic products is spreading through word of mouth. Inquiries are pouring in,” Patel said.

The Sristi organised last year two editions of ‘satvik’ (vegetarian) food festival to popularise organic and traditional-but-now-forgotten food products. Patel, however, says much more is needed to give impetus to the trend. “There is a large market abroad for organic food products, including mango.”