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Posted by: Information Center DOA - 07/04/09 @ 12:28AM

          Mango  ( Mangifera  indica Linn.)  is native to Indo - Myanmar  region and has been cultivated for over 4000 years.  Indo – China , including Thailand , is believed to be the place of mango diversity. As many as 172 cultivars have been recorded in Thailand and about ten are grown commercially. Mango is one of the most important fruit crops
in Thailand with a cultivated area in 2005 of 316,032  ha and a production of 2,080,650  tons , They are mainly produced for domestic consumption, although some are being exported in fresh , as well as processed form.

Origin and Distribution

          Mango originates in IndiaMyanmar and is distributed in the Indo – China , Malaysia and Indonesia. It has been  brought  into  eastern  Africa,  eastern  Asia  and  America.  The  countries  which  produce  the  largest  amount  of  mango  for  export  are  India,  Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Israel  and  the  USA.  Within  Asia,  the  countries  which  grow  mango  in  large  scale  are  India,  Pakistan,  Thailand,  The  Philippines  and  Indonesia.

What Makes Thai Mango Amazing ?

Suitable Growing Conditions

         Mango is the fruit tree which is popular among Thai farmers as it can adjust itself and can grow well in various climatic conditions. It is adapted to a wide range of soil types from clayish, loamy to sandy loam. It can grow well on the upland and lowland with no stagnant water. The soil should have not less than 1.5 % organic matter with the pH of 5.5 – 7.5 , with 700 – 1,500 mm of rainfall/year and with regular distribution in the rainy season,  and average sunlight of 7 hours or more per day. Such conditions are not hard to find in Thailand.

The Right Cultivar at the Right Place

         Although a large number of mango cultivars exist in Thailand, only a few are popularly cultivated commercially. There are three types of mango based on its utilization namely : ripe mango which includes ‘Nam Dok Mai’, ‘Nam Dok Mai  Si Thong’, ‘Maha Chanok’, ‘Nang Klang Wan’ ,‘Ok Rong ’ and ‘Chok Anan ’ cultivars; (ii) green mango which includes ‘Khiao Saeoei’, ‘Raet’, ‘Fa Lan’, ‘Nong Saeng’,and ‘Man Duean Ha’; and (iii) processed mango which includes ‘Kaeo’ and ‘San Pi’. The cultivars which have high export potential include ‘Nam Dok Mai’, ‘Nam Dok Mai Si Thong’, ‘Maha Chanok’ and ‘Chok Anan’.

Flower Induction Technique

       In addition to using off – season mutants, Thai farmers are using flower inducing technique to produce off – season crops (see detail in the section on “Production”.

Quality  Product  at  Reasonable Prices

       Through a system of “ Good Agricultural Practice ( GAP)” , Thai  mangoes  are  of  high  quality and  relatively  free  form  pesticides.  They  are  sold  at  reasonable  prices,  both  domestically  and  through  export  markets.

R  & D  Support  from  the  Government  Institutions

       There  are  a  number  of  government  institutions  that  are  doing  R & D  on  mango.  These  include  the  Horticultural  Research  Institute  and  various  faculty  of  agriculture  of  many  universities.  Many  new  cultivars  have  been  released,  and  several  techniques  of  planting,  pruning, bagging, especially  on  off – season  flower  induction, and  post – harvest  technology  have  been  developed  by  these  institutions

Viable  National  Policy  and  Planning

        The  Government  has  set  up  mango  production  strategy  in  order  to  be  able  to  compete  with  international  markets  by  stressing  on  research  and  development  of  new  agricultural  technologies  to  increase  production.  Other  approaches  include  the  development  of  cultivars  for  export  in  the  from  of  fresh  fruits  and  processed fruits,  certification  of  the  produces,  development  of  agro – industry,  and  improvement  of  standards  of  the  produces  from  the  farm  to  the  dinner  table,  and  increasing  the  potential  of  market  management  within  the  country and  abroad.

Thai  Mango  Cultivars

          Having  been  grown  as  a  commercial  crop  for  a  long  time,  Thai  mango  cultivars  are  numerous,  especially  when  many  have been  propagated  originally  through  sexual  reproduction.  Thai  farmers  are  blessed  with  sharp  eyes  in  selecting  elite  clones  deriving  from  chance  seedlings  and  bud  sports.  With  their  skill  in  plant  propagation  techniques,  new  cultivars  emerge  quite  frequently.  Within  a  short  span  of  time,  many  have  become  commercial  cultivars  and  replaced  some  of  the  old,  less  popular  ones.

Categories  of  Thai  Mango  Cultivars

         Based  on  consumption  aspects,  Thai  mangoes  can  be  classified  into  four  categories,  namely :

        1.  Green  Mangoes : These  are  those  whose  fruits  are  ready  to  be  harvested  and  consumed  when  they  are  still  green  and  have  unique  nutty  taste,  with  little  or  no  sour  taste.  They  may  be  mature  but  not  yet  softened.  Some  cultivars  may  be  eaten  when  they  are  half – ripe.  In  fact,  the  tendency  to  eat  mango  at  the  half – ripe  stage  is  increasing  even  among  foreigners.  This  group  of  mangoes  is  unique  to  Thailand  since  none  exists  in  other  countries.  Important  cultivars  of  this  category  are : ‘ Reat’ and ‘Nong Saeng’.

      2. Ripe  Mangoes : These  are  those  whose  fruits  are  ready  for  harvest – ing  when  they  are  fully  mature  and  ready  for  consumption  when  they  are  ripe.  They  are  sour  in  taste  when  still  green  but  turn  sweet  with  characteristic  aroma  and  flovor  when  ripe.  This  group  of  mangoes  constitutes  a  major  item  of  international  trade.  Major  cultivars  of  this  category  include ‘Ok  Rong’, ‘Nam  Dok  Mai’, ‘Nam  Dok  Mai Si  Thong’, ‘Nong  Klang  Wan’  and  ‘Maha  Chanok’.

      3 . Processing  Mangoes : These  are  those  used  in  processing, including  canned, dried, pickled, pastes, juice, jam, ice cream, wine, etc. Major  cultivars  of  this  category  include ‘Kaeo’, ‘Sam Pi’ and ‘Maha  Chanok’.

      4.  Dual – Purpose  Mangoes : These  are  those  which  possess  simultaneously  two  qualities  of  the  three  categories  mentioned  above.  The  first  group  possesses  nutty  taste  when  green,  and  sweet  when  ripe.  Thus,  they  group  possesses  nutty  taste  when  green,  and  sweet  when  ripe.  Thus,  they  can  beaten  when  they  are  either  green  or  ripe.  Important  cultivars  are  ‘Thong  Dam’, ‘Raet’, ‘Phimsen Nam’ and ‘Chok  Anan’.  The  second  group  is  those  which  are  eaten  when  they  are  ripe,  and  at  the  same  time  can  also  be  processed.  Important  cultivars  of  this  group  are ‘Kaeo’, ‘Maha  Chanok’ and  Sam  Pi’

      5.  Special – Purpose Mangoes :  These  are   those  which  are  used  in  some  special  purpose.  For  example, a  cultivar  grown  in  southern  Thailand, named  ‘Bao’,  is  used  as  vegetable  to  make  a  spicy  Thai  is, Known  as “ Yam”.  Other  is  picked  when  still  quite  young  and  used  as  a  source  of  sour  taste  in  several  dishes  in  place  of  lime

 Characteristics  of  Thai  Mango  Cultivars

Khiao  Sawoei :

  • Shape : Oblong
  • Color : Dark  green  skin, white  flesh  when  mature.  It  should  be  eaten  at  this  stage.
  • Taste :  Sweet,  juicy  and  nutty.  Taste  similar  to  persimmon  if  consumed  just  before  ripening 
  • Weight :  250 – 350 g

Reat :

  • Shape : Oblong,  some has  a  short  horn  at  the  shoulder  of  the  basal  end
  • Color :  Light  green  with  rather  yellow  flesh
  • Taste :  Nutty  when green, Swwet  when  ripe
  • Weight : 250 – 300 g

Phimsen  Nam :

  • Shape : Oblong  with  obtuse  fruit  end
  • Color :  light  green  skin,  with  cream  color  pulp
  • Taste :  nutty  with  scanty  fiber
  • Weight :  280 – 300 g

 Nam  Dok  Mai :

  • Shape : ovate  with  sharp  pointed  tip
  • Color :  golden  yellow  skin, deep  yellow  flesh  when  ripe
  • Taste :  sweet  and  scented
  • Weight :  280 – 300 g

 Nang  Klang  Wan :

  • Shape :  oblong  with  curved  and  tapering  tip
  • Color :  light  yellow  flesh  when  ripe
  • Taste :  sweet  and  scented
  • Weight :  300 – 350 g

Ok  Rong :

  • Shape :  oblong  with  small  sized  fruit
  • Color :  pale  green  skin  color  with  pale  yellow  flesh
  • Taste :  sweet,  mildly  scented  when  ripe  but  with  much  fiber
  • Weight :  180 g

Kaeo :

  • Shape :  ovate  oblong
  • Color :  light  green  skin  color  and  turns  yellow  when  ripe
  • Taste :  sweet, nutty  and  sour  when  ripe
  • Weight :  200 – 300 g

Nam  Dok  Mai  Si  Thong :

  • Shape :  elliptical
  • Color :  golden  yellow  when  ripe
  • Taste :  sweet  with  strong  aroma
  • Weight :  300 – 350 g

Maha  Chanok :

  • Shape :  oblong  with  curved  and  tapering  tip (‘Nang  Klangwan’)
  • Color :  bright  yellow  skin, flesh  is  yellow  and  fiberless  with  pleasant  aroma  when  ripe
  • Taste :  sweet  and  sour  with  pleasant  aroma  like  ‘Sam  Pi’
  • Weight :  300 – 400  g


Mango  Cultivation  in  Thailand

Area  of  Production

          In  2005,  the  total  planted  area  for  mango  is  316,032  ha  with  the  area  of  fruit  harvest  of  277,600  ha  with  total  production  of  2,080,650  tons.  The highest  areas  of  planting  are  in  the  north,  followed  by  the  northeast, the  east, the west, the central  part  and  the  south.


         Although  mango  can  be  propagated  sexually  and  asexually,  the  sexual  method  is  rarely  used. In  Thailand, commercial  propagation  is  based  on  inarching  technique.  A  scion  shoot,  while  still  attached  to  the  parent  trees,  can  be  grafted  onto  a  seedling  rootstock  of  cv.  ‘Kaeo’  by  making  a  long  cut  of  2 – 3 cm  on  one  side  of  scion  through  the  cambium  and  slightly  into  the  wood. A  diagonal  cut  of  similar  length  is  then  made  at  the  distal  end  of  the  rootstock.  The  cut  surfaces  of  scion  and  rootstock  are  pressed  firmly  and  tied  securely  with  polyethylene  tape.  After  4  weeks  a  new  plant  is  obtained.  In  fact  this  technique  is  considered  an  efficient  and  a  rapid  method  for  mango  propagation  in  Thailand.  Up  to  20  grafted  trees  can  be  made  in  an  hour  by  a  skilled  laborer,  provided  seedling  rootstocks  are  ready  at  hand.

Planting  Materials

          Planting  Materials  consist  of  marcot,  budded  stalk,  or  graftage  using  ‘Kaeo’  as  the  root  stock,  planted  at  desired  spacings.  When   the  plant  is  of  a  pencil  size,  top  grafting  or  budding  can  be  performed,  using  the  scion  from  good  cultivar.  The  operation should  be  done  in  the  rainy  season.

Close – spacing  Planting  Techniques

           Mango  orchards  in  Thailand  are  normally  spaced  at  around  10 – 12  m  between  plants  and  rows.  This  is  particularly  true  of  “field  grown”  mango, i.e.  those  which  are  grown  i.e.  those  which  are  grown  in  the  open  fields.  In  many  areas  however,  they  are  grown  on  raised  beds  since  water  table  is  rather  high.  In  such  areas,  close – spacing  of  2.5 × 2.5  m  is  practiced.  The  advantages  of  such  planting  are :

(i)                   Ease  of  inducing  off – season  flowering/fruiting  (see  later),  due  ot  optimum  growing  conditions  on  shallow  soil, with  roots  confined  to  top  soil  which  can  be  managed  to  have  a  period  of  dryness  during  flower  induction  process.

(ii)                 Ease  in  manipulation  due  to  the  short  stature  of  plants.  This  includes  the  ease  of  pruning, spraying, grafting, fruit  thinning, bagging  and  harvesting  of  fruits.  Besides,  such  a  practice  results  in  less  damage  to  strong  wind  since  the  plants  are  kept  at  a  low  height.

(iii)                More  production  per  unit  area.  Although  per  plant  yield  of  close – spacing  planting  is  less  than  that  of  normal  planting,  the  overall  yield  per  unit  area  is  definitely  higher.

(iv)               Faster  return  on  investment.  Compared  to  normal  planting  with  wider  spacing,  close – spacing  planting  gives  yield  within  3 – 4  years  instead  of  10 – 12  years.

(v)                 Less  investment  cost  due  to  the  fact  that  such  planting  does  not  require  high – priced,  deep  fertile  soils,  since  low – priced  shallow  infertile  soils  can  be  used  with  little  modification.  Land  preparation  cost  in  such  planting  is  also  less  than  in  deeper  soil.  Since  planting  materials  are  seedlings (which  will  be  grafted  at  a  later  stage  at  the  site)  rather  than  the  already  grafted  rootstocks, their  cost  is  lower. Lastly,  the  interest  of  the  invested  money  is  also  less  as  the  return  from  such  operation  is  faster.

             The  cultivar  most  suitable  for  close – spacing  is  ‘Nam  Dok  Mai #4’  since  it  has  many  beneficial  characteristics, e.g.  producing  good  yield  regularly,  ability  to  produce  off – season  fruits,  producing  good  quality  fruits  with  high  market  demand,  ease  in  taking  care  with  few  pests,  diseases,  and  damages  from  environmental  hazards.

Cultural Practices

          There are two types of mango planting in Thailand based on the topography. One is the lowland such as in he central plain; raised beds are made with the width of 6-8 m and the water ditch of 1.0-1.5 m deep. The second type is on the upland which requires leveling the land and plowing before planting.

        Spacing: The spacing in the lowland is closer than on the upland. Plant spacing varies from 2.5-5.0 m depending on the cultivar used, while on the upland the spacing is 4.0-6.0 m.

        Fertilizer Application: At the age of 1-2 years, apply fertilizer twice a year at the beginning and end of the rainy season, using 15-15-15 fertilizer at the rate of 1-2 kg/plant/year in equal amount of application, then cover with soil.

       For already bearing mango trees or at the age of three years or more, fertilizer application regime is as follow:

  • During the period to promote growth: After harvest and pruning, apply 15-15-15 or 20-10-10 or  30-10-10 fertilizer at the rate of 1-2 kg/plant together with organic fertilizer at the rate of 10-20 kg/plant, followed by another fertilizer application when second flush of leaves begins.
  • At the time to induce flower bud formation: Two months before flow erring, apply 12-24-12 or 8-24-24 fertilizer at the rate of 1-2 kg/plant.
  • At the time of fruit development: One month after the flowers open, apply 15-15-15 fertilizer at the rate of 1-2 kg/plant.
  • At the time of fruit quality improvement: One month before harvest, apply 13-13-21 fertilizer at the rate of 1-2 kg/plant.

         The rate of fertilizer application should be adjusted to the size and age of the plant as well as soil fertility. The optimum rate should follow soil and plant analyses.

Off-Season Production

                Off-season production of mango in Thailand is a common practice such that one sees mango in the market almost all year round. This is possible because of the use of two methods, namely:

  • Through the use of cultivars or clones that bear off-season fruits:  There are a number of mutants of mango cultivars that produce off-season flowering in the 8-month period from May to November. These have been selected for propagation and used in producing off-season mango commercially. Among the well-known off-season mangoes are ‘Sam Ruedu’ (a cultivar that bears  off-season fruits) and ‘Nam Dok Mai’ Thawai #4, ‘Phimsen Man’ Thawai, ‘Ok Rong’ Thawai, ‘Man Duean Kao Thawai’ and ‘Chok Anan Thawai’, all of which are clones of normal-bearing mangoes.
  • Through flower inducing techniques: Induction of off-season flowering in mango has been successfully achieved in Thailand for many years. Use of paclobutrazol as soil drench has been adopted by mango growers to enhance uniform off-season flowering. This technique has been widely practiced within the country and internationally recognized by many other mango-producing countries. The key factors for this technique include appropriate preparation to obtain healthy trees and proper stage of tree development at which the chemical is applied. Up to 2-3 different cropping times can be induced provided trees are properly prepared and orchards are well managed. Success of induction may vary among cultivars, for example, ‘Nam Dok Mai’, ‘Fa Lan and ‘Nong Saeng’ are much easier to induce than ‘Khiao Sawoei’ and ‘Raet’. Although off-season flowering can be obtained, the chemical carefully applied to avoid any possible damage to the trees.


           Harvesting should be done at appropriate time depending on the cultivar. This is based on various factors such as the age of fruit after flower opening, after 50% fruit set, the creamy-white appearance on the fruit or by floating in the water

        Harvesting is done by the use of ‘Takro’  (bamboo harvesting basket), or the scissors to cut the the stalk leaving 5-10 cm in order to avoid the latex staining on the frits. Pack the fruits in a box and carried to the packing house with care not to damage or injure the fruits.

Post-harvest Operation

       After transporting the mango to the packing house, deselect those which have blemish. Cut the stalk off to the length of 1 cm to allow the latex to flow out of the cut end. Place the fruit onto clean jute sack or a sieve with a container to receive the latex. Leave the fruit there for 30 minutes or until the latex dries out. Wash the fruit in clean water or in water with 0.01% chlorine, then allow the fruit to dry. Grade the fruit according to size and quality level, then pack into the container, or to be processed in the next step to keep, transport of sell.

     In the case of packing for export, there are two commonly found diseases, anthracnose and blossom end rot. Control measure is by using hot water treatment (HWT) at 50oC for 5-10 minutes, or mix with a fungicide, thiabendazole (40% WP) at the concentration of 0.05-0.1% in order to increase disease control efficiency. The mango fruits which have passed HWT should be cooled by soaking in cool water or using a blower. In the case of some countries which are strict in plant quarantine such as Japan, New Zealand there is a need to eradicate fruit flies and microorganisms adhering to the fruits harvested from the field by using heart treatment such as modified vapor heat treatment (MVHT) in order to eradicate the eggs and larvae of two species of fruit flies, namely oriental fruit fly (Batrocera dorsalis (Hendel)) and melon fly (B. cucurbitae (Coquillet)) at the seed-skin temperature of 47 oC for 20 minutes; during the first period of increasing the temperature up to 43 oC , the air must have a relative humidity between 50-80%, and at 43 oC, the air must be saturated with heat at the relative humidity over 95%. After the heat treatment, reduction of heat must be done by blowing wind or spraying water.

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