| BAU vice-chancellor ML Choudhary shows the mangoes to guests at the show on Monday. Picture by Amit Kumar |
Bharatbhog, Gulabkhas, Zardalu, Himsagar, Prabhashankar, Farnaden, Swarnarekha, Defhri, Rangaraj, the list was endless.
More than 300 varieties of luscious mangoes vied for attention at the Mango Diversity Show-2014 inaugurated at Bihar Agriculture University (BAU), Sabour, on Monday.
Preceding the mango extravaganza was the inaugural session of a three-day seminar on mango production during which experts deliberated on ways to combat problems of malnutrition in the country by growing fruits at low cost with the help of horticulture techniques.
Pointing out the importance of horticulture, N.K. Krishna Kumar, the deputy director-general (horticulture), Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), New Delhi, said: “Horticulture is very relevant in countering the problem of malnutrition, which is the biggest problem in the country.”
Krishna Kumar, the chief guest at the inaugural function of National Conference on Mango Diversity, Production, Post-Harvest Management and Export and Mango Diversity Show-2014, was addressing the jampacked auditorium of BAU.
He admitted that Bihar had immense potential in the field of agriculture and especially in the production of fruits like mango and litchi. But he expressed his dissatisfaction over the poor post-harvesting methods in states such as Bihar, where mango growers don’t have any modern scientific knowledge and still depend on old traditions.
“In this context, the mango farmers here cannot think of exporting their product to outside markets. So it is very important for them to unite under a strong association,” Krishna Kumar told farmers, giving the reference of mango growers’ and grape growers’ associations in Maharashtra.
Appreciating the efforts of BAU, Sabour, for uniting the mango farmers, Krishna Kumar said: “A united approach would change the fate of Bihar mango production. Alphonso mangoes are still popular across world markets but the new initiative of this varsity could help to spread Zardalu or Malda varieties of mangoes to the world markets soon.”
BAU vice-chancellor M.L. Choudhary said the main aim of the conference was to motivate mango farmers to unite and to adopt modern scientific techniques in mango production. Farmers from 34 districts in different states were taking part in the seminar.