ISHAD MANGO FACING A THREAT IN ITS HOMELAND
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Ishad mango, the pride of Ankola, is under the threat of becoming rare because of rising competition.
- The local variety has a good demand from within and outside the district during summer, facing tough competition from other varieties like Alphonso, Mallika with regard to production and consumption.
- A local mango variety called Ishad, the pulp of which has been extracted for over a century for making value-added products, is facing the threat of becoming rare in its homeland, Ankola of Uttara Kannada district, Karnataka.
- The pulp, which is thick, is still being marked under the old brand name. The production of pulp dropped from 20,000 tons a year a decade ago to between 10,000 and 12,000 tins now owing to shortage of mango as their trees are becoming rare. Each tin weighs 850 grams.
- The mango, harvested from mid-May, has a short shelf life of not more than two or three days. Its pulp lasts more than a year. It was not being exported from the cooperative society. The main demand for the pulp is from Mumbai and Hubballi.
- As of present day, the demand for the pulp has not come down as about 95% of the pulp made by the cooperative is sold every year. But there is a need to conserve this variety.
One of the disadvantages of the fruit is its short shelf-life after ripening. This makes it difficult to transport the variety over long distances.
- Oriental Canneries and Industries set up a unit in Ankola in 1908 to extract pulp from Ishad for making value-added products.
- The then Bombay government supported it by supplying wood.
- The pulp, which was also being exported, was being marketed by the then Bombay-based Veerachand Panachand Company.
- An old marketing brochure printed at Basel Mission, Mangaluru, says that the pulp was used for making juice, syrup, salad and ice cream.
- According to the brochure, the pulp could be used for making 48 recipes. It was being used in the United States, Australia and Sri Lanka.
- ‘Ishad’, a native mango variety grown in Ankola taluk of Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka.
- The mango has two variants;
- Kari Ishad – Which has thin skin, more pulp and is sweeter.
- Bili Ishad – Which has thick skin and has less pulp and sweetness.
- The mango has a short shelf life of not more than two or three days. But its pulp may lasts more than a year.
- The pulp of Ishad Mango has been extracted for over a century for making value-added products.
- Some farmers did try to grow it outside Ankola taluk, but failed.