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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 23 July 2024

Friendly mango for all seasons: Malda youth grows Katimon, popular in Bangladesh

Unlike other variants of mango, which deign to appear only in summer, Katimon can be grown 365 days a year

Soumya De Sarkar Malda Published 31.05.24, 11:37 AM
Rajib Rajbanshi showing the Katimon mangoes at his farm in Gazole, Malda

Rajib Rajbanshi showing the Katimon mangoes at his farm in Gazole, Malda Picture by Soumya De Sarkar

Meet “Katimon", a large-hearted species of mango, which has decided to cater to lovers of the fruit all year round.

Unlike other variants of mango, which deign to appear only in summer, Katimon can be grown 365 days a year.

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Farmers in Bangladesh have grown it. Now, farmers in Malda, the mango basket of Bengal, are also trying their hand at it.

In Malda's Gazole, the mango orchard of Rajib Rajbanshi, 26, has Katimon hanging low from trees.

Rajib has become something of a mini celebrity. Many fruit lovers and mango growers are visiting him these days to know more about this special variety of mango and the method to cultivate it.

“Earlier, there were few other varieties of mangoes which were produced twice a year. But unlike those, there is no break in the production of Katimon mangoes. Once the buds turn into the fruits, newer buds grow naturally. Hence, the tree continuously produces mangoes, irrespective of season,” said Rajib.

He said that those who tasted the fruit confirmed that Katimon mangoes are unique in flavour and sweet in taste.

Two years back, Rajib had taken the initiative to plant 100 Katimon saplings on his one-bigha plot.

“I was preparing for competitive examinations. However, out of my keenness for cultivation, I often try to learn about different kinds of fruits and seeds. I learnt about this mango variety from social media. A couple of years back, I managed to get the saplings from Nadia district,” he said.

The youth then planted the saplings on his farm.

The results, he said, were satisfactory.

"Last year, I made some profit by selling this mango during autumn when the conventional mango season was over,” said Rajib.

This year, he hopes to make a larger profit as all the 100 Katimon trees have started yielding fruits.

According to him, a bud turns into fruit in three months. The weight of a mango varies from 200 grams to 300 grams.

“Once the official mango season is over, a kilo of Katimon mangoes can fetch anything between 60 to 75,” the youth said.

District horticulture department officials lauded Rajib’s venture. Samanta Layek, the district food processing and horticulture officer in Malda, said the Katimon was a good mango variety. “It may help augment the earnings of mango growers. We plan to visit Rajib's farm soon," he said.

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