By Vina Medenilla
Mango (Mangifera indica) is a tropical tree native to India that has spread to many countries across the world, including the Philippines, where it is regarded by many locals as a national fruit despite the absence of legal recognition.
Rickson C. Olimpus, the owner of Gabriel Mango and Fresh Fruit Products, is one of the many mango producers in the country. According to Olimpus, the following practices are helpful in the fruiting of mango trees.
Conditioning. The first step is to clean the weeds on the ground. Pruning dead or unnecessary branches is also carried out to make room for new growth.
Once everything is clear, Olimpus applies complete fertilizer and urea one meter away from the tree. Plant growth hormones are also used to help with the development of leaves.
Pest control. After four months, the trees will start to flower. This is where pest management comes in.
Pesticides must be employed 11 and 18 days after the application of flower inducer.
Pollination. This takes place 23 to 33 days after the last application of pesticides.
During the pollination period, no pesticides or any pest control are allowed to be sprayed to protect pollinators like bees from any harmful chemicals.
Post-pollination. To support the growth of flowers, Olimpus applies insecticide, fungicide, foliar fertilizer, and the like every four to five days for the next two months or so.
Shaking the branches. “This is a fascinating technique. We typically shake their branches to loosen mature mangoes from the tree, forcing them to fall,” he said.
In this case, though, it is performed before the tree yields fruit. The mango farmer explained that this is to get rid of dead flowers and keep plant diseases at bay, especially during the rainy season.
Bagging of fruits. The fruits will appear after 60-65 days and will require wrapping to protect them from pollution, pests, and other hazards.
Harvesting. The maturity period of mangoes depends on the area. Olimpus starts picking fruits once they reach 105 to 110 days.
Olimpus’ trees are prolific all year round. Using the methods above, he can regularly collect around 35 tons of mangoes from 120 trees. He also exports mangoes to the Middle East, and all of them are produced using these processes.
The information provided above is from a webinar titled “Webinar on Enhancement of Mango Production (Mango Fiesta 2021)” by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD).