Producing and harvesting more mangoes during off-season periods would ensure year-round availability of fresh mangoes for local and export markets. This would thenprovide more income for farmers and fruit processing plants, and also improve mango industry on the national level.
Dr. Calixto M. Protacio, a professor from the Crop Science Cluster at the College of Agriculture, UPLB,discussed his study Year-Round Programmed Production of ‘Carabao’ Mango on 24 January 2012. His talk was part of SEARCA’s Agriculture and Development Seminar Series.
In his talk, Dr. Protacio suggested ways on how to produce more mangoesthroughout the yearespecially during months where none is usually available.He said that one way to program mango productionis to synchronize leaf flushing, which wouldthen synchronize flowering. However, he explained that synchronizing leaf flushing can be tricky due to variation in leaf maturity caused by erratic leaf flushing. One solution to thisis to prune the branches simultaneously because pruning induces new branches.
Pruning is a method already done in other countries like the USA, Israel, Thailand, South Africa, and China. In the Philippines, however, pruning is more difficult because mango trees are much taller. This then suggests that trees be maintained as small trees by pruning suchas those grown in mango farms in China so that regular pruning can be done easily.
Dr. Protacio also suggested employing high-density planting in mango farms to increase yield. This is the natural consequence of maintaining small trees to get the same yield as large trees from the same unit area.However, this would require regular pruning
In addition, he enumerated some steps on improving mango flowering, fruit set, and appearance. Some of these are drenching the soil withthe plant growth regulator pacrobutrazol (PBZ), removing branches and leaves that block the fruits from sunlight, cuttingfruits that cause abrasions on other fruits, and bagging the fruits.
Towards the end of his talk, Dr. Protacio showed a diagram of the proposed system of programmed mango production. (Faith Ocampo)