LAHORE: The Mango Research Institute has developed a new variety bridging a gap between early and late maturing varieties to maintain export of the fruit during the season.

Institute Director Hameedullah says so far the country basically has had two main exportable varieties with good size, colour and shelf life – Sindhri, an early maturing variety, and Sufaid Chaunsa, which is late maturing. The mid-season variety with good export potential was missing and the institute was looking for some suitable variety to bridge this gap.

Chenab Gold has been developed as an excellent choice, he says, adding the plant behaviour, fruiting habit, vegetative growth, insect and disease infestation and yield have been evaluated for five years – from 2010 to 2015 – while its size, taste, flavor, sugar contents and shelf life have been tested for two years by the scientists.

He claims that the fruit was also exported to Iranian market on experimental basis and it fetched double the price than Sindhri variety.

Answering a question, he says that as the variety has been grown on Chenab belt and its fruit develops shining yellow colour like gold at ripening so it has been named as Chenab Gold.

He says that in 2017 the institute began providing the variety’s 5000 saplings per year to interest growers at subsidized rates, while its bud wood is being provided free of cost for quick multiplication.

Answering a question, Mr Hameedullah says the variety is not absolutely resistant to diseases, however, it can tolerate several diseases for many days that affect the fruit quality and shelf life.

He says it’s a high-yielding variety suitable for medium and high-density plantation so it will not only ensure the export flow of mango it may also increase the per unit production in the province.

Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2019