Along with the summers arrived the first season of mangoes. There are so many varieties of fruit available in the markets – from Haapus to Safeda and more. The ‘King of Fruits’, mango is profusely used in many dishes in Indian cookery. The love for mangoes is revealed in countless Indian recipes such as Aamras, Aam Panna and more. BV Subba Rao Hegde, an 84-year-old man, is truly unique in his love for mangoes and has been classifying and maintaining over 150 rare varieties of Mango.
Karnataka: A 84-year-old man in Sagar, Shivamogga says he has identified and preserved 120 varieties of mangoes.
"I visited so many villages to source local varieties of appe midi (mangoes used for pickles) & collected 120 varieties," said BV Subba Rao Hegde. (30.03) pic.twitter.com/WpPZ2XbPYW
— ANI (@ANI) March 31, 2021
Hegde is from Beluru village in Shivamogga, Karnataka, and he has protected more than 150 original mangoes from the Western Ghats. These were varieties that were on the brink of destruction. The process of collecting and protecting this much variety was not an easy one, he has travelled across villages for several years as part of his passion project. He told ANI, “I visited the villages to hunt native varieties of Appe Midi (tender mangoes used for pickles). At the initial stage, we had collected 120 varieties of mangoes with different aromas.” Hedge took about six months from November to March to collect all the various mango samples.
In his conversation with ANI, he told them about his love for mango pickle, which started from his childhood days. “I love mango pickles right from childhood. There was only one variety of mango in my house. When I was 60 years, I made a plan to grow the native varieties in my tiny land of about one-acre space. My wife cooperated with my work,” he said. He brought home some of the samples he collected for the purpose of making pickles.
But, out of these 150 varieties of mango, only 15 can be preserved for a long period of time. Thus, Hegde took it is in his own pace to make these mangoes grow and save them from extinction. “I have grafted five varieties on to one tree in my house, and also grew them in pots. I have donated many varieties to schools,” he said. The octogenarian’s efforts have been identified with an award too, as he was recently presented with the ‘Award for Excellence’ for a new type of farming in the National Horticulture Fair held in Bengaluru on 8th February.
He has also created a ‘Mango Park’ in his house for explaining the importance of mangoes to people.