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LockDown Jugaad

LockDown Jugaad

By: Aamrai

May 4, 2020

Another one of the unique experiences that one faces in life due to circumstances beyond our control and which we couldn’t have imagined just a month or so ago. 

The current lockdown resulted in an unexpected problem – we ran out of packaging boxes. Our orders for new boxes with updated designs and fresh colors had been placed with our box manufacturer like every year. He was going to start the manufacturing and had even bought the paper required and cut it into the appropriate sizes. But before he could begin printing, the Covid lockdown was announced on March 23rd due to which he could not resume printing and production. We all thought this would go away soon, perhaps a week or so………..or at the most a fortnight. But it dragged on and finally we had used up all the stock left over from the 2019 season.

We were in a real dilemma since the mangoes were ready and needed to be harvested but we could not pack them in the appropriate boxes for their protection and safe handling. A similar situation exists across the Konkan with paper and raw material being in short supply, lack of reliable transportation due to shortage of drivers and frequent police checking and a real struggle for getting basic things needed to run operations in a farm or industry. We were really at our wit’s end as to how to get over this obstacle since letting mangoes go to waste due to lack of packaging boxes is like pouring good whiskey down the drains due to lack of bottles.

A bright young boy who does harvesting at our farms came up with a bright idea. If the printing was the problem, perhaps we can get plain corrugated boxes without any branding or printing. It would not have the unique AAMRAI branding or colours but the mangoes inside would be safe and would reach the eager customers. We quickly inquired with our packaging guys and they confirmed that it could be done. They quickly started production and within two days we have plain white boxes at our farms. We also managed to get AAMRAI stickers printed to be pasted on the top of the boxes so that the boxes would still bear the AAMRAI mark and brand promise. 

The final result was quite satisfactory considering the last moment execution and quick thinking. 

Take a look at the two pictures and judge for yourself. One of them is the traditional AAMRAI box and the other is the lockdown jugaad.     

So dear customers, please remember that even if you get any of these boxes at your home, please bear with us since we are all struggling through unprecedented times and the mango inside is still AAMRAI

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LockDown Jugaad

The current lockdown resulted in an unexpected problem – we ran out of packaging boxes.  

Take a look at the two pictures and judge for yourself. One of them is the traditional AAMRAI box and the other is the lockdown jugaad.     

So dear customers, please remember that even if you get any of these boxes at your home, please bear with us since we are all struggling through unprecedented times and the mango inside is still AAMRAI

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Maharashtra’s Alphonso aftershock

Maharashtra’s Alphonso aftershock

By: Aamrai

April 27, 2020

India Today Insight | Dailyhunt

In one of Sachin Lanjekar’s sprawling mango orchards, spread over a total of 80 acres in Ratnagiri in Maharashtra’s Konkan region, monkeys screech intermittently from trees as four men go about picking ripe fruits in baskets. As the sun sets, leopards on the prowl feast on semi-ripe mangoes that have fallen on the ground. This is peak mango harvest season, but no one comes here for days to pluck the Alphonso, proudly called the ‘King of Mangoes’ in this part of the state. In Vengurla town, some 200 km away, ripe mangoes have fallen off trees in Raman Waingankar’s orchard and are rotting. Waingankar has stopped going to the orchard to pluck the fruit because, he says, there are no buyers. The local market, otherwise packed with vendors selling Alphonso and other mango varieties, such as Payari and Rayval, is deserted. This is lockdown time. “It’s better to leave the mangoes on trees and save the packaging and transportation costs. We do not have enough labour due to the lockdown, and local authorities, too, do not allow us to step out and sell. Traders in Mumbai deny us a just price for our produce,” laments Waingankar, a third-generation mango farmer.

Over the past decade, Maharashtra has been producing an average 550 metric tonnes of mango annually, predominantly Alphonso and Kesar. The state has approximately 25,000 growers of the fruit. According to the National Mango Database, the state has approximately 1.6 lakh hectares under mango cultivation, with the Alphonso orchards concentrated in Ratnagiri and nearby Devgad and Kesar farms in Marathwada. The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, a Union commerce and industry ministry body, says the state’s mango yield in 2018-19 was 566 metric tonnes and 791 metric tonnes in 2019-20.

This year, though, the yield is expected to be far less. Vikas Patil, joint director of agriculture, Maharashtra, estimates a 30 per cent drop in yield because of a short winter and a wet November last year. Climatic disturbances have indeed played a part in the gradual decline of the mango crop in the state over the past decade. For instance, unseasonal rains last November and December destroyed the budding mango flowers. “Mango flowers bloom when temperatures drop, but last year, we didn’t get any winter. So the flowering itself has been low this season,” says Laxmikant Khobrekar, an engineer who owns a one-acre mango orchard, with 60 trees, in Malvan, some 140 km from Ratnagiri. While he estimates this year’s losses at 50 per cent, Waingankar says his yield has crashed to about 16 per cent. Compounding the problem is the nature of the Alphonso tree, which usually sees fruiting every alternate year.

In Konkan, March to May are busy and prosperous months for mango growers as the high-in-demand Alphonso is lapped up by traders in Mumbai’s APMC (Agricultural Produce Market Committee) and tourists and buyers who visit Konkan. The first round of Alphonso hits the market in March, selling at Rs 1,500-2,000 for a dozen. Early March this year was no different, but prices slumped to as low as Rs 300 a dozen within less than a fortnight as the nationwide lockdown came into effect. Amol Teli, who owns 5,000 Alphonso trees in the villages of Devgad, says 20 per cent of the harvest is done in March, 30 per cent in April and the remaining in May. The first two rounds, he says, have borne the brunt of the lockdown, which shut down large markets.

Restrictions on local movement, too, have affected the harvest. Lanjekar’s orchards are spread over a radius of 50 km across villages and towns of Ratnagiri, and the migrant labourers from Nepal who work here are unable to travel to the farms. “Due to the lockdown restrictions in place, not more than four people can be in public at a time together. For us, transporting workers in jeeps in batches of four every day turns out to be very expensive. We would rather not pluck the fruit,” he says. Eighty per cent of Lanjekar’s harvest is pending.

Waingankar says that contrary to popular perception, mango farming has been steadily becoming less lucrative. The reasons include unseasonal rain, high incidence of pests and harassment at the APMCs, where traders try to exploit growers over rates and strikes by workers delay the offloading of mango cartons. “We spend money to maintain the orchards round the year, but suffer losses as mango trees are prone to catching diseases fast,” he says. “This year, some of us are getting as little as Rs 100 per dozen mangoes, which is not even one-fourth of the usual rate.”

Some growers claim that while it costs an average of Rs 70,000 to maintain an acre of mango orchard, the income from it has plummeted to about Rs 10,000. “Earlier, our input cost would be around Rs 25,000 and the income up to Rs 1 lakh,” says Khobrekar. Every year, a few trees develop disease, further bringing down the yield, he adds.

With both exports and domestic sales hit, mango growers are staring at big losses. Dr Ganesh Hingmire, an agri-economist based in Pune, estimates Maharashtra’s total mango turnover to be approximately Rs 3,500 crore. The Alphonso fruit from Konkan accounts for a lion’s share of this. The turnover of a single taluka in Konkan’s mango belt is Rs 150-250 crore. While the harvest season will go on for another month, some farmers are putting the total losses to mango trade due to the lockdown at 50 per cent.

Exports to the main markets of West Asia, Japan, UK and US have been hit by the lockdown. Bhooshan Nabar, who sends 5,000 dozens of Alphonso mangoes to the US from his 40-acre orchard in Math village of Vengurla, says he hasn’t exported any this year. “Approximately 900,000 dozen mangoes go from Konkan to the major markets every day. Of the total that is sent to Mumbai’s APMC, 20 per cent is exported. But this time, most countries of export are in lockdown,” he says.

Mumbai’s APMC sources almost 90 per cent of its mangoes from Konkan. But with the market closed for several days since the lockdown was announced, farmers have been exploring direct-to-home marketing-taking their produce straight to the consumers. They are getting help in this from the state agriculture department and local politicians. Farmers collect orders of at least 100 cartons and send a tempo-load of Alphonso mangoes to housing societies in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Kolhapur, Sangli and Belgaum. “When the markets shut down, there was nobody to buy our produce. Mangoes are highly perishable and start ripening within five days of plucking,” says Teli.

Officials affirm that the direct-to-home concept has somewhat helped salvage mango farmers’ incomes. “The model is working very well for farmers because they are getting a minimum of Rs 350 per dozen, much higher than what traders pay. More than 1,500 cartons of five dozen mangoes each have already been sold through this method,” says Patil.

Local politicians have also stepped in to help farmers forge tie-ups with retail chains, such as Big Bazaar, and agribusiness entities like Merakisan. On April 19, 200 dozen Alphonso mangoes went from Teli’s Ravimangal Aamrai farm to Pune for supply to Merakisan. A few hundred dozen go from Devgad to Big Bazaar stores in Mumbai every week.

A poor winter and the lockdown have had a devastating impact on Maharashtra’s mango cultivation, but with the direct-to-home-sale option cutting middlemen and traders out and ensuring buyers for their produce, several smaller farmers are already considering it their business model for the future. “It ensures a fair price for both the farmer and the end-customer,” says Patil.

India Today Insight | Dailyhunt

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BETTER LATE THAN NEVER is the story of 2020 so far.

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER is the story of 2020 so far.

By: Aamrai

March 20, 2020

It’s been a difficult year for the King so far. After battling the extended monsoons in November, the shortened and delayed winters in January and February, the summer is finally arriving in the Konkan and temperatures are rising. The result of all these dramatic climate changes has been reduced flowering in November/December and increased vegetative growth in February/March instead of the desired flowering and fruit formation.

The nutrients inside the mango tree are used for both the leaves and flowering growth depending on the weather and subsequent physiological changes inside the tree. The colder winter nights and days are needed for the flowering and fruit setting which typically happens in December-February. However this year that period was reduced significantly and the temperatures never really dipped for a long period. Due to this the nutrients were diverted for fresh vegetative growth. Though this is desirable for the health of our organic trees and the environment in the long run, what this would mean is a reduced yield for the coming season.

Finally from the last week, temperatures have been rising at our farms in Ratnagiri and if this sustains, we can hope for our first harvest in the next week or so. The good news is the fruit quality, sizing and development is excellent though the quantum might take a hit.

At the end of the day, we are all subject to the vagaries of nature  and have to submit to the same. Perhaps this is nature’s way of delaying the mango crop until the Corona issue settles down…………….and we can all enjoy the mangoes in peace…………………..

Fingers crossed for speedy arrival of the King and departure of Corona.

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The Hapus Haste

The Hapus Haste

By: Rahul Kulkarni

February 11, 2020

Just about four days ago, I happened to glance at news in a reputed newspaper and I was shocked.

The news is that this year, the Alphonso mango boxes have already arrived from Konkan at the Mumbai Market and have received a price of Rupees Twenty-One Thousand & five hundred for each box of five dozens (Photo no. 1). Awessssome, ain’t it?

The date I am sitting to write this article today is February 9, 2020. In our organic farm in Ratnagiri District of the Konkan region, the Alphonso mango trees are just blossoming, and hardly on a couple of those tree you may notice the fine pea-sized mangoes appearing on a tree. No. 2-3). But there are mango boxes that have already made it to the Mumbai-Pune market. So, our mango garden is still three-and-a-half months behind.

As the news says, this mango, which has reached the market, is also almost two months late. Which means, this mango should have hit the market two months ago in December. What a progress of science related to agriculture and of course the human who is the inventor of this science!

And here we harvest our mangoes, grown with organic or natural methods, on the 10th or 12th of May. And then those take another week to be ready to be eaten, i.e on the 17-18th of May. How shameful? So late it is? At that time, the price of the average commercial mango box recedes to about Rs. One Thousand only. What a drop all the way down from twenty thousand rupees to just one thousand rupees? What a loss for commercial mango growers? Should they too change their mango production techiques? Don’t they want to earn thousands of rupees by growing the mango as quickly as possible and sending those to the market much before the real season starts? Of course, some of them must have got ‘inspired’ by reading the news already and must be preparing to achieve the early bird results? I am sure you hope so!

On the contrary, as per my childhood memories (which are only from the 80’s); mangoes were to be eaten only in the summer holidays i.e in the month of May. ‘Akshay Tritiya’ in the end of April month was supposed to be an auspicious occasion to have the 1st mango of the season. Then onwards in May, the mango aroma would fill almost every house. I am not referring to this as nostalgic memories or my love of the Marathi food culture, etc.… I want to remind you that the real mango season was in May. No, it still is. And exactly that’s why the mangoes in our organic farm can be harvested only in the month of May!

Today, however, the mango has become a ‘rich’ fruit savored almost from December to January, and no more it is just a summer fruit. Not only Ratnagiri, Devgad, but the mangoes from across Malawi in Africa or Gujarat and Karnataka race harder to reach the Mumbai-Pune market ASAP!

*And my dear consumer, it’s all for you! Because…*

Because, you can not be patient until May to taste this delicious fruit!

Because, you would love to get this mango all through the year!

Because, you well off to pay the price it calls for!

Because, you don’t even know why nature made this mango since thousands of millions of years, only in summer, and how that works for you, your health!

Because, you do not bother to know what the agro-science has done to get this mango to you much before the summer, and how it affects not just you but the planet!

Read on, only if this suits you. Otherwise, leave it here …

I know many of you may argue, “We never eat mangoes in January when its as expensive as ten or twenty thousand rupees, we only eat mangoes from March … that too, only for five to six thousand per box!”

Some will even accuse us of not accepting advancements in agricultural science, or us being jealous of the profits earned by those mango growers or, we don’t understand the business of farming!

Do you all really think that the ability to grow fruits and vegetables off the natural season is an achievement? Should it be termed as progress?

Before we find out the answer to this question we must try to understand why did nature create the mango in the peak of the summer. That obviously calls for the need to know what exactly does happen in a tree before it gets ready for the production in the summer.

You surely can not escape saying, “Why would I want to know how you grow the mango, I only mean to eat those. The mango growers should know all about it, not me!” Of course, the mango growers need to know most of it but unfortunately 80% of them don’t really know anything. This is unfortunate but true. In their views, they planted mango trees, watered them, applied ‘X’ fertilizers in ‘A’ month and applied ‘Y’ fertilizers in ‘B’ month, sprayed pesticides for pest infestation and that’s all. That’s all they know! The increasing numbers of the greedy but unaware consumers, the rush and pressures of the market and the misconceptions of the society about ‘successful farming’ lead the farmers in working blindly for the early yields.

Then the same mango gardener, especially the Hapus mango farmer in Konkan … is worried about the declining mango yields declining every year. He is now turning away from growing mangoes to any other business, or replacing the orchards with cashew plantation. While dreaming of an effortless yield fetching Rs. 150 per kilo of cashews, little does he know that such monoculture in near future would only bring it down to Rs. 50 per kg. So if you don’t see the coconut, nutmeg, pineapple, jamun trees in Konkan anymore but only cashew trees, don’t be surprised. Blame it on the decline of the mangoes…

It is high time to think about why is the mango production declining every year. Where and what is wrong with our mangoes.

*So much happens in the mango tree when it grows them*

Here in Konkan, the mango trees get the new shoots at the end of the monsoon, ie October. In the next two to three months, these pink coloured leaves grow to become dark green, mature leaves. That’s when these leaves and the tree, are ready for fresh photosynthesis. With photosynthesis, the tree receives various elements of food and energy from the sun. And at the same time, the roots of the tree accumulate a variety of food components from the ground that strengthens the tree to be able to produce food again. In order to the blossom of flowers to occur on the mango tree, the weather requires a difference of at least 10 to 12 degrees in the day and night temperature for 15 to 20 days; Which is usually around December end or January. With this kind of weather, the tree begins to blossom with flowers and sends around the fantastic fragrance. The flowers invite different types of insects, such as bees, butterflies, beetles, small birds, all come into contact with these flowers and the pollination takes place in late January or early February. At this point, the tiny mango fruits as tiny as a black pepper grain, are formed. The next two-and-a-half-month period of February to April is an important period for the mangoes to grow. All the food and energy obtained so far by the tree is used to grow the fruit. With that nourishment, the fruit grows into a raw green mango that you all know and love. By the months of March-April, the warm rather, hot summer days help the fruit to turn sweet. And that is all about the heat of the months. Now, the tree produces the glucose and the natural sugar in the fruit called ‘Fructose’ begins to saturate in the fruits. Along with fructose, an enzyme called ‘Ethylene’ is formed inside the fruit. The ‘Ethylene’ causes another ingredient in the fruit called ‘Pectin’ to dissolve, resulting in the mangoes to gradually become soft and juicy. At the same time, the visible difference in mango is that the skin color starts turning red from the stem… initially to red and then to yellowish orange.

Wait! The Mango is still not really eatable yet.

The heat from the atmosphere then causes the water content in the mango starts evaporating and the mango skin starts getting wrinkled. The reduced water content in proportion to the saturated fructose now, makes the mango much sweeter.

By then the first week of May has arrived! Now the mango is perfectly ready to be savored!!!

There is a phrase in Marathi language that says “Patients always results into sweet fruits”. Isn’ that true?

Now let’s see why a fruit such as mango which is so high with Fructose (Sugar), is created by nature only for summer. Once we understand the reason, you would never want to eat the mangoes except in the extreme summer. During summer, the need for sugar and glucose increases in of human body and even in other animals. The body also dehydrates more and faster resulting in an increased demand for liquids and sugar for energy. Therefore, eating such fruits during this period is the need of the season and is absolutely sensible. Even the fruits like watermelons that consist almost 90% of water and glucose, grow in the harsh summer and even in the desert regions. This is an excellent example of the beautiful system designed by nature for everyone. Wherever and whatever is needed, providing the right solutions at the right times is the law of nature. Is it any wise to go against the rules and eat fruits or vegetables that that are grown off-seasons, just for the sake of our greed and the cravings? Here’s another great example… In Konkan, the hottest period of summer is in April and May, while in northern Maharashtra or further north in Gujarat, it is a bit later in June. But the same summer occurs in July and even to the middle of August, as we move further north. And that’s why Konan gets the ‘Alphonso’ or ‘Payari’ of Konkan in May, The ‘Kesar’ variety of Northern Maharashtra or Gujarat appears in June and mangoes like ‘Dasheri’, ‘Chausa’ are a treat in July in Uttar Pradesh. So, what would be the point in eating those mangoes from outside of Maharashtra, while it rains here in Maharashtra in the months of June and July? Or vise versa? I don’t mean to say that one should not try a mango of another region ever at all. But wanting to eat mangoes coming from all over the country or around the world for almost 6-7 months of the year is surely where things go wrong! As a result of our stupidity and greed, we invite diseases like diabetes and even the serious ones like cancer but blame the fruit for it. That is exactly what today’s modern nutritionists and dieticians advise us to ‘Eat Seasonal and Eat Local’. Aren’t they directly or indirectly asking us to follow the laws of nature? Our grandparents though, never needed to be advised these matters ever. Because then growing food was not really a part of the industrialization of agriculture.

However today fruits like mango, watermelon, pineapple or vegetables like radish, cauliflower and carrot have become essential through the year. The production and supply of these all year long against the demand of billions of ignorant customers has become the basic necessity of the agribusiness. There is a life-threatening competition for earning the fastest and the maximum.

I dare calling it life-threatening as many chemicals, hormones, are used to grow mangoes 2-3 months in advance against nature’s rule, that result in the early flowering on trees just after the monsoon. Since these early but untimely flowers are more prone to the attack of pests, fungi, other diseases; spraying multiple rounds of fungicides and pesticides on them becomes a must till the mangoes are harvested (Photo no. 2). Importantly, the heat of the summer that activates the for natural sweetness and fructose saturation is missing completely during the off season growth. In the haste of harvesting early the mangoes are not ready with the sugar and ethylene preparation within them. So obviously the artificial ethylene needs to be used to ripen them faster. What would it be like to spend thousands of rupees for eating such a bland and unhealthy mango when your body does not even need it? Can’t you link all this to the health issues like early puberty, PCOD, Ulcer or even Cancer amongst the new and young generation?

The Mango growing community too, should note that all of this is closely related to their concern of the declining yields every year. With the constant and overuse of these chemicals, the trees are behaving like addict humans. Their need for the chemicals is only increasing every year. It is destroying the ecosystem inclusive of the micro and macro organisms of the soil in and around the orchards. The insects responsible for pollination are fleeing away dying due to the pesticides. All of it in totality is contributing to the downfall of the mango quality and the yield. Do you get it now?

I am sure everyone noticed the price of the mango box mentioned in the news. The amount of Rs. 21,500/- must have caught the attention of all the desperately waiting mango consumers, and even a lot of Mango Farmers. The important words that must have escaped the eyes are, ‘Due to changing weather’ …

The reason for this changing climate is the ‘haste’ the ‘RUSH’ … ‘We want it today, now’!

With all the due respect to your spending capacities, I request you to pay respect to your own money. Please do not ‘WASTE’ it on such ‘HASTE’. Wait a little, think carefully. Otherwise, the HASTE will WASTE everything!

And if you like these thoughts, go ahead; share it with the name and other details given below.

-Rahul Kulkarni

Farm of Happiness Agro Tourism Homestay

Phungus, Dist. Ratnagiri

Phone/Whatsapp : 7620775521

email: info@farmofhappiness.com

Web: http://www.farmofhappiness.com

fb page: https://www.facebook.com/farmofhappiness/

Insta: farm_of_happiness

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Survival of the sweetest

Survival of the sweetest

By: Aamrai

March 26, 2019

The first picture shows a solo alphonso on a branch, like an single child. It will receive all the nourishment from the mother tree via the branch and hence it will have the best chance of growing to its full potential. 

The other three images show mangoes which are like siblings, in a way they will be competing for the same source of nourishment. In this case the fruit which is first is closest to the main mother tree or first in line will receive the lion’s share of the nutrients and hence will have the best chance of growing larger. Very often the later fruit wont even survive till maturity and will fall off due to lack of food. 

Some farmers engage in a practice of removing the weaker fruit, hence allowing the other fruit to grow larger in size and have the best chance of survival.   

Guess this is Darwin’s theory in play in a mango orchard – Survival of the Sweetest.  

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Hapus enemy #1 – fungal attack – powdery mildew

Hapus enemy #1 – fungal attack – powdery mildew

By: Aamrai

March 5, 2019

Powdery mildew is one of the most serious fungal diseases of mangoes. The characteristic visual symptom is the white superficial powdery fungal growth on leaves, stalks, flowers and young fruits. The affected flowers and fruits drop prematurely considerably reducing the cop load or preventing fruit setting. 

Light rains or mists or heavy dew fall accompanied by cooler nights during flowering our ideal conditions for the disease spread. Hence this is more prevalent in the earlier part of the season before the summer heat sets in. As the temperature at the farms rises after April end or early May, this problem is not seen.

Common organic treatments that we use at our farms are neem oil and garlic powder/juice spraying in winter. Constant vigilance of the mango trees and immediate removal of leaves/flowers affected by fungus helps to control its growth and spread.

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Don’t judge a mango by its SAP 

Don’t judge a mango by its SAP 

By: Aamrai

February 24, 2019

One of the predominant post harvest problems faced in mangoes is sap injury. The mango fruit has an extensive system of ducts or lactifers in both fruit and stem. Mango sap (latex) sap which is highly acidic in nature is contained within the ducts. In the mature fruit, the sap is under considerable pressure and when the fruit is separated from the stem at the harvest time via an incision, the sap spurts out. This sap is frequently deposited on the surface of the fruits causing browning or blackening of the peel in region of contact with the sap.

Unfortunately sap injury reduces customer acceptance of the fruit even though the mango is perfectly fine and the blemishes are only superficial. The mango connoisseur should be aware that the mango with a sap burn mark is perfectly edible fruit and should not be discriminated. What’s more, even though the physiological role of the mango sap is not exactly know, it probably has a defensive role against disease causing microorganisms and insect pests. Hence the latex is sap like the mango’s natural acid spray for self defense. 

We are practicing desapping of the mangoes immediately after harvest to reduce such incidences. However it will not be possible to completely eliminate this phenomenon while using natural organic systems.

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Aamrai organic in Biofach 2019, Nuremburg Germany

Aamrai organic in Biofach 2019, Nuremburg Germany

By: Aamrai

February 19, 2019

An article on AAMRAI Organic in Pure & Eco India, Organic Magazine which was launched at BioFach 2019, Nuremburg, Germany, The largest organic exhibition in the world was held from 13-16th February 2019 and was well attended and showcased the growing global demand for organic products.

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Who is eating your mangoes?

Who is eating your mangoes?

By: Aamrai

February 7, 2019

At our organic mango farms in Ratnagiri, the mangoes are getting ready and the fruit is now on the trees, ranging in size from a pea to a tennis ball. This is also the time when a variety of thieves are looking to make the most of the mangoes on the trees. The various threats are different kind of insects, pests, birds and monkeys. Some of them just eat the fruit, some inject their larvae into the flesh while others cause fungal growth. Each of them are harmful to the fruit and need to be countered in different ways. 

The solar insect catcher allows us to check on a daily basis which insects are present in the farms. The functioning is quite simple – it has a solar battery which charges throughout the day and the light starts shining for a fixed time during the early evening (twilight when maximum number of insects are prevalent). The insects are attracted to the light, and fall into the water. The next morning our team at the farm can see the insects and decide appropriate counter measures for the same. Even if the culprit is not caught directly, the predator or prey may be caught indicating to us the presence of the culprit. For instance stem borer weevil may not be caught but its predator will be, similarly the birds may not be caught but the insects they feed on which would attract the birds, will be caught.

Since we do not use any chemical treatments in our farms, we do not have a fixed pesticide spraying pattern, frequency or system. Our pesticides are all 100% organic and natural and are sprayed based on changing weather patterns, season, maturity of the plant & fruit and feedback from tools such as the solar insect catcher. We have one of these in each of our farm locations and it will helps us assess better the potential threats to the mango tree and prepare better for the same.