Indore (Madhya Pradesh): If Alphonsos are considered the king of mangoes, then Noor Jahan must be given the badge of an ‘Emperor’. This breed of mango comes from Afghanistan and was planted centuries ago in Katthiwada and has been a top choice of Indoreans since then.
The mangoes have a great demand in Indore, where a sizable stock is sold in the market every year.
“People come to us asking for Noor Jahan every year. However, the waiting list is long due to its popularity. So, if someone asks for the mangoes this year, we will be able to supply them to them only next year! We source the Noor Jahan mangoes from traders in Alirajpur,” said Radhe Gambhar, a fruit vendor and member of the fruit vendor’s association.
“Each Noor Jahan mango weighs around 3.5 kilograms and the demand annually is so high that sometimes the entire stock is booked in advance at very high rates. The flowers appear between January and February and the fruit is ready for sale by June,” said Ishaq Mansuri, manager of New Palace, Katthiwada.
Unseasonal rains affecting yield
The availability of the renowned 'Noor Jahan' variety of mangoes may take a hit this summer due to unseasonal rains and hail in the region. "This time all the trees had flowered and we were expecting a sizable stock of Noor Jahan mangoes, however, unseasonal rain and hailstorm have destroyed the flowers, which will bring down availability of the produce to almost nil," said Ishaq Mansuri, who is also a mango horticulture expert.
As expensive as royalty
"Last year, the heaviest Noor Jahan mango in my orchard weighed 3.8 kg and I sold it for Rs 2,000. This mango species is very sensitive to fluctuating weather conditions. This year most of the mangoes are already booked by people from Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Delhi. The price might range from Rs 1500 to Rs 2500 depending on its size. This year the fruit might come late in the market due to the dramatic changes in the weather,” said Mansuri.
Only 8 fruit-bearing Noor Jahan trees are left
A few decades ago, fruit from this mango variety used to weigh up to 4.5 kg, but it has now come down to around 3.5 kg. Decades ago, there was a whole garden dedicated to the Noor Jahan trees, however, at present, there are only 8 trees which yield this variety of mangoes. The number might decrease if the climatic conditions keep deteriorating.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)