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Worldwide mango varieties have been transforming Kenya small-scale farmers for in recent times, the Kenya Agricultural & Research Institute (KARI) injected acumen to the sector by introducing half-a-dozen new varieties from the United States.
Since 2013, farmers, especially in the coastal region of Kenya have been able to stultify their hitherto failing mango crops which used to wither early or produced barren results due to drought, and if the fruit succeeded harvest, went on to rot away for lack of a ready market. For now, with the induction of the new mango varieties, not only have family growers been able to reap more than what they used to before this windfall.
These novel mango varieties include Kenya Tommy Atkins, a very hardy variety that is more than popular for its characteristic ‘buffer zone’ qualities in that it withstands transportation pressure! It is a peach-to-purple colored variety and when ripe, it can last longer than most other varieties. Owing to these shelf life and hardy characteristics, it has nevertheless become the most common mango import variety in Britain and the US. It can produce as high a yield as 1200 fruits per tree.
Haden: easily one of the most common types of mangos around the globe, Haden is a diehard variety form its native Florida in the US where it came through a host of explorers. Though nowadays it has fallen behind its tens of descendants in appeal, it still retains its glory as the creme de la creme of plantation and nursery stock agriculture for the fruit. It is quite strategic for those who want to harvest as high a yield as between a thousand and a thousand, two hundred per tree.
The Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) also introduced the Sensation mango in 2013. The origin of this high yield variety is also the South of the United States, specifically Florida in the northern district of Miami.
Kent is another variety that is characteristically yellow-green and huge. With succulent flesh and in-depth yellow interior, the Kenya Kent mango is worth the growing. It is highly sweet besides doubling as a source of business since it sells well. Interestingly like the rest, its origin is South Florida.
Additionally, there is the Van Dyke, possibly the most eye-popping mango variety out their with its firm green-reddish appearance when ripe and quite a sumptuous yellow when fully imbued with ripeness. It has a great market in Europe and though surpassed by Tom Atkins for the latter is hardier to carry, it easily steals the show in the market not just for its beauty but for enhanced spicy flavor with no fiber. It also owes its source to Florida.
The above are not by any means the only aspects of value addition that have in recent times visited upon Kenya mango farmers. Other popular varieties already being grown in Kenya include Kenya apple mango and Kenya Ngowe mango.
Processing of mango has been, in tandem with lack of new mango varieties such as the above, been a source of migraine for mango agribusiness in Kenya. However, now there are a lot of openings, including processing plants for not only traditional products like mango concentrates, jam and juice, mango pulp, mango powder, puree and paste.
All the above are some of the Kenya mango varieties provided through the Mangos From Kenya, always ensuring high quality right from the farm all the way to the market.