KANGAR – Growing Harumanis mango must be done with the right knowledge so that the outcome is as expected, says Universiti Malaysia Perlis Institute of Sustainable Agrotechnology (INSAT) director, Assoc Prof Dr Mahmad Nor Jaafar.
He said many people were keen to cultivate the mango, which is an icon in the state, but not many were enthusiastic about carrying it out with the right knowledge and method.
Despite the issue of deteriorating mango quality cropping up of late – sour fruits, watery and rotting flesh texture – still some want to plant Harumanis on their land to avoid buying them when prices peaked.
“No problem planting it anywhere. Only whether it will bear fruit or not and the fruit quality is as expected or not. It must be understood that planting Harumanis is not simple…in fact, many factors must be taken into account.
“One cannot plant Harumanis mango tree and expect the tree to grow and bear fruit in abundance or for lucrative returns, while caring for it can be difficult.
“Harumanis growers, especially the commercial entrepreneurs, must produce mangoes which conform to the true nature of Harumanis such as fragrant fruit, thick orange-yellowish flesh, fine texture and fibre and of sweet taste.
“In addition, the important components in the planting of Harumanis is the weather and suitable natural ecology to support the production of high-quality fruits, whereby the factors exists only in Perlis,” he told Bernama.
According to him, a very hot and dry weather during the day and a cold, windy condition at night are needed continuously for a three-month period to ensure the tree can produce healthy flowers.
The flowering Harumanis trees will not bear fruit if it often rained during the period. The amount of water in the soil must be balanced with suitable pH for good fruit growth, and the fruits must be wrapped.
After a fruit is almost mature, it once again requires strong sunlight to ensure a high level of sweetness before it is suitable for plucking.
*If a fruit is picked when it is not mature enough or at an unsuitable time, it will affect the texture of the fruit and it will also taste sour while a damp climate without strong sunlight will render it easy for the skin of the mango to be affected by fungus, damages the fruit and causing the flesh to rot.
“As such, Harumanis entrepreneurs must always improve on the know-how, and meet every essential step to produce Harumanis of high quality to satisfy the domestic and international market demands,” Mahmad Nor said. – BERNAMA