By Seniorl Anzu
Mango farmers in the dry lowlands of PNG can cultivate three recommended varieties released by the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI).
The three mango varieties – Kensington Pride, Banana Callo and Totapuri (also known as ‘Rabaul’ mango) – are fibreless and have juicy flesh with attractive ripe fruits in terms of shape, skin appearance and taste. They were introduced to PNG from Queensland, Australia, and have been tested under dry lowland conditions at Laloki in the Central Province. Following initial evaluations by the Department of Agriculture and Livestock and then by NARI’s Laloki research centre outside Port Moresby, the three mangos have been found to be most suitable for the drier or seasonally dry areas of the country.
Scientists have recommended these mango varieties for planting by farmers.
All varieties give low fibre content but with excellent eating qualities and are much sweeter. While Banana Callo can give an average of 300 fruit yield per tree, the others can bear over 400 fruits. Kensington Pride has an ovate to slightly oblong fruit shape while Banana Callo is long and oblong shaped, and Totapuri looks like banana fruits. Fruits of the three varieties weigh between 270g and 580g and fruit numbers can double during good fruiting seasons.
Mango is a lowland tropical fruit that grows and bears well from sea level to about 1100m above sea level. It grows on a wide range of soils but prefer deep well drained soil with water table no higher than 2.5m.
Generally mango requires a dry season of at least 3 months for flowering to complete and set fruit. Too much rain during flowering stage will encourage flower abortion.
All varieties of the released mangos are available at NARI Laloki as “grafted” materials or as plants. Further information is available from the programme through this contact:
Research Programme Manager, NARI Dry Lowlands Programme, P.O. Box 1828, Port Moresby, National Capital District, Papua New Guinea, Tel: (675) 323 5511, Fax: (675) 323 4733, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org