Mangaluru, June 22, 2017: In view of the current dwindling local mango varieties, including the wild ones, Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat has stepped in to save at least 11 of them starting now.
The panchayat, through its Department of Horticulture, has decided to raise 5,000 grafted saplings of the 11 varieties at its nursery in Thumbe. Local varieties are victims of various development works.
According to Chief Executive Officer of the panchayat M.R. Ravi, the saplings will be developed under MGNREGA (Mahatama Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) scheme. He conducted a meeting to this effect with Deputy Director, Department of Horticulture, Yogesh H.R. and other officials of the department on Tuesday.
“Our first priority is to conserve the vanishing varieties by developing their saplings,” he said. CEO Ravi said that some of the saplings developed will be given to schools which have bagged the Parisaramitra award. As such schools have concern for environment and conservation the saplings given would not go waste.
The panchayat has high hopes on such schools as they will nurture them. The remaining will be given to those interested to plant and protect them.
Director Yogesh said that the grafted saplings will be distributed in the next rainy season. To a question, he said that the grafted saplings will not lose the original properties of a variety. Scion from the variety to be developed will be grafted with the stock plant. Later, the scion itself will grow as the sapling retaining the original characteristics.
***The varieties identified are nekkare, pandi, goumavu, chinkumbri, mulubagilu, varanasi, betta tukra, manchi rasalu, sonari, sasive huli, and porkala.
The department has consulted Mapalthota Subraya Bhat, a farmer who has saved many local and wild mango varieties, at Markanja village in Sullia taluk, to this effect. A team of department officials, including himself, visited his farm on June 17, Mr. Yogesh said.