84-year-old in Karnataka preserves more than 150 rare mango varieties

Shivamogga: An 84-year-old man in Sagar of Shivamogga district in Karnataka has been identifying and preserving more than 150 native varieties of mangoes of Western Ghats.

Travelling 16 years across villages in Western Ghats, BV Subba Rao Hegde from Beluru village in Sagar Taluk of Shivamogga, preserved the native varieties of mangoes in Ghats which were on the verge of extinction.

Hegde told ANI, “I love mango pickles right from childhood. There was only one variety of mango in my house. When I was 60 years, I made a plan to grow the native varieties in my tiny land of about one-acre space. My wife cooperated with my work.”

“I visited the villages to hunt native varieties of Appe Midi (tender mangoes used for pickles). At the initial stage, we had collected 120 varieties of mangoes with different aromas. From November to March, we collected tender mangoes for tasting and we brought some sample home for making the pickles,” he further said.

“Out of the 150 varieties, it has been identified that only 15 varieties can be preserved for a long time. I have grafted five varieties on to one tree in my house and also grew them in pots. I have donated many varieties to schools. I have created a small mango park in my house for explaining the importance of the mangoes to the people” he added. He was felicitated with the ‘Award of Excellence’ for innovative farming at the National Horticulture fair 2021, held in Bengaluru on February 8.