Kannapuram in Kannur district of Kerala is being declared an ‘Indigenous Mango Heritage Area’

It rains mangoes in Kannapuram. Mango lovers in this village in Kannur district of Kerala meet in the primary week of May yearly to feast on the fruit. This yr the gathering needed to be cancelled in mild of the pandemic.

Nevertheless, Kannapuram, which is residence to many indigenous mango varieties, has a lot to cheer about as a result of on July 22 — National Mango Day — the village will likely be declared an ‘Indigenous Mango Heritage Area’.

Participants of a earlier version of mango meet at Kannapuram in Kannur district of Kerala
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Special arrangement

The honour is a end result of the work executed by 10 households in Kuruvakkavu, an space positioned throughout the Kannapuram Panchayat the place 107 mango varieties are discovered in a 200-metre radius. The households got here collectively to guard and propagate the indigenous mango varieties 5 years in the past. Led by Shyju Machathi, a farmer, the group runs the Facebook web page ‘Nattumaanjottil – Mango Lovers Kerala’.

“There are houses with over 40 to 60 varieties of the fruit. That has nothing to do with the area of that property. For example, the house with 40 varieties stands on a one-acre compound. There is another household on less than 20 cents of land with 12 varieties. Unfortunately, during the mango season, much of the harvest goes to waste. There is a limit to how much we can use at home!” says Shyju.

Bonding over mangoes

  • The annual mango meet at Kannapuram is open to a choose group of mango lovers, and brings in 100-120 contributors from throughout the State. A mango-based welcome drink is served following which a gathering is held below a mango tree to debate and work together. The group then ventures out to feast on mangoes from the neighbourhood. Lunch is an all-mango affair with over 10 completely different dishes. This contains payasam, ice cream and pudding made out of mangoes. A particular kanji made of kuthari (boiled rice), inexperienced gram, boiled greens, coconut and ghee is served. “There is no entry fee. All expenses are met by us because we use home-made produce for the feast. Cooking the meal is a festive affair,” Shyju says.

The Naattumaanjottil journey started when a 200-year-old mango tree known as Vellathan was lower down by a landlord in the neighbourhood. “That was a special variety, and we didn’t want to lose it. So we collected many pieces of the tree and grafted them with the help of officials from the Department of Agriculture,” remembers Shyju, who is additionally the private safety officer of KK Shailaja, Minister of Health, Government of Kerala. He provides that like-minded pals and their households prolonged assist.

Treasure trove

The group has recognized 203 varieties in the Panchayat. The members really feel that there could possibly be extra varieties however the lockdown put a cease on all exercise. Of the lot, 102 have been grafted. The scions (half of the grafted plant that produces shoots) have been handed over to the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NCAR) at Vellanikkara in Thrissur, and at the moment are prepared for planting. “We are not against seed propagation. But in some cases it takes 10 or more years for the trees to bear fruit. That is why we opted for grafting so as to conserve and propagate as many indigenous varieties as possible,” says Shyju.

Some mango varieties available in Kannapuram

The mangoes have been named on the premise of its style, dimension, color of the peel or nature of the pulp. So if Thenga maanga is known as so as a result of it is as large as a coconut, Suvarna cheriyan will get the identify from its golden color. Kadukkachi is a sort of small mango; this class has 20 completely different varieties. Kula nirayan (actually interprets to a full bunch) bears fruit all year long. “There are at least five mangoes that look the same, and you can differentiate them only by taste,” says Shyju, including, “The same variety might be known by a different name in another part of Kerala. So we want to give a scientific name to each variety.”

Mango-based dishes

No examine has been performed to grasp the provision of so many types in this space. “Our assumption is that there might have been mango villages in other parts of Kerala as well, and those trees were cut down to grow various crops. But that didn’t happen in Kannapuram and so we have this treasure,” he provides.

The crew additionally has plans to launch a Heritage Tourism Walk in the Panchayat subsequent yr. “While exploring the mangoes, participants can also visit some of the scenic spots . We have identified 10 such places in 14 wards of the Panchayat,” says Shyju.

Individuals or teams can solely participate in the event that they register. Kannapuram Panchayat will take over the venture. Responsible Tourism Mission below Kerala Tourism, Kerala State Biodiversity Board and Haritha Keralam Mission too have prolonged their assist. “Next we will focus on mangoes in nearby panchayats. This will go on until we identify all those available in Kerala,” Shyju provides.

For particulars, contact 9496787872


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