It’s already mid-April, and the mangoes should have flooded the market by now. But this year has been an exception. Blame it on climate change, and there are barely any mangoes on the streets or even in fruit markets.
While there are many organic farmers in Hyderabad who sell their produce online and offline, there are others who grow the king of fruit just for personal consumption. Of course, they distribute them to friends and family, but the idea is to enjoy the fruit.
One such farmer is Gautam Mahmood. Primarily a lawyer, he has been growing his own mangoes for the past nine years and has more or less mastered the art of growing them. He uses mulch and compost and barely uses any pesticides, and this surely shows in the taste of the fruit. While last year was a disaster as there were rains at harvest time, this year, he expects a good crop. They will take another three weeks to ripen, he says. His farm is located on the Madras highway in Cherlapally. Three generations have been into it, and while many procure saplings from Railway Gudur, he gets them from Sangareddy. Gautam grows banganepalle, himayat or imam pasand, totapuri, and some other local varieties.
Raghuram Vemula, who happens to be VP strategy and operations at Organo, a company offering alternate living experiences through eco-friendly farmhouses and villas, says they check soil penetration first and also decide on soil density and then conduct a soil profile to ensure there is a good crop in future. Though mango trees are best planted five to six feet apart, Raghuram has reduced the distance to increase the produce.
Another such home farmer is Josh Govada, who simply loves growing mangoes through organic methods. However, after getting his own module for growing juicy mangoes, he has gone commercial and sells for some supermarkets and small stores. He, too, like others, mostly uses mangoes for personal consumption.
Barring such seasoned farmers, there are a whole lot of those who are growing mangoes in their backyard these days to have their very own organic crop.