Mango aficionados from Lucknow and adjoining areas had a ‘fruitful Sunday’ in the orchards of Saidanpur village in Barabanki. They enjoyed rare varieties of mango under the fruit-laden trees - all this amid the earthen smell of freshly made pottery, folk music and energetic qawwali!
The occasion was the first Lucknow Mango Festival organised by Habibullah Estate in association with Sunhara Prayas and Mandi Parishad. Hindustan Times were the media partners of the event. Apart from enjoying the carbide-free mangoes encouraged by Sunhara Prayas, the visitors also experienced the enthusiasm of the competitors in various mango contests held at the venue. What added to the festivity was the lavish mango brunch prepared by the chefs of Vivanta by Taj. The rich fare included a variety of delicacies prepared using mangoes from the Habibullah orchards.
DM Singh, director, agriculture said: “The state has introduced the agro processing policy and it is time the farmers benefit from it.”
H Ravishankar, director, Central Institute of Subtropical Horticulture (CISH), highlighted the various opportunities for mango farmers. He said, “The fruit has a lot of potential and if the farmers want to reap adequate benefits, they will have to pay attention to its packaging.”
Ajay Verma, another senior scientist from CISH, said that India had started importing mangoes from Australia and China. “If the Indian farmers don’t gear up to improve the quality of their yields and don’t understand the importance of branding & packaging, the imports might gradually spread in the market,” he added.
Amit Kumar Singh, director, Sunhara Prayas project had produced about 500 tonnes of carbide-free mangoes so far in the season and the teams were working for more. Singh said, “We teach people to identify the carbide-free mangoes.”
Jyotsna Habibullah, the organiser of the event, said the teams were mulling over constituting a mango board with stakeholders from government and research institutes as its members to work for the promotion of mangoes. And while all remained busy savouring the brunch, chef Pankaj Bhadouria judged the mango recipe contest in which the participants displayed their home-cooked mango recipes.