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Mango Growing in Kenya by Juergen Griesbach Training Materials Coordinator


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Apple


This cultivar originated from the Kenya coastline, most probably around the Malindi area. It is a chance seedling and its parentage is unknown.

The fruits are medium to large, nearly round in shape and have a rich yellow/orange to red colour when ripe. Average length measures 9.7 cm by 11 cm in width, and the weight is 280–580 g (mean: 397 g). Normally, if not diseased, the skin is smooth and thin, and the juicy yellow flesh is of excellent flavour and of melting texture virtually free from fibre. This is not a polyembryonic cultivar and trees propagated by seed are very heterogeneous in fruit shape, colour and quality.



The trees are large/vigorous and of pyriform growth habit. Depending on location, harvesting seasons are from December to the beginning of March; the yields are medium.



Advantages:

Disadvantages:

  • susceptible to anthracnose and powdery mildew

  • alternate bearing

  • range of altitude adaptation is limited

Arumanis


This cultivar is also referred to as Harumanis and it originated from Indonesia. It is widely planted in humid parts of the world where many cultivars of better quality fail to fruit.

The small, oval to oblong fruits are yellow with large yellow-white dots and a rounded base. On average they are 8.3 cm long and 6.3 cm broad and weigh 95–190 g at Mwea in Central Province. The beak is inconspicuous and the skin is thin and tough. The flesh is firm and juicy with little fibre. It is lemon yellow, sweet, slightly insipid with a strong aroma, but with only poor to fair eating quality. The polyembryonic seed is covered in a thick woody shell.



The tree is vigorous and tall with a slightly open canopy. It bears in January but there is a tendency towards low yields and biennial bearing. Resistance to powdery mildew and anthracnose is only low to fair.

The cultivar has not adapted well at an altitude of about 1080 m in Mwea and should be tried in other agroclimatic zones to achieve better results.

Batawi


This mid-season cultivar was discovered in the eastern part of Kenya and its parentage is unknown. Propagation and planting have only been done on a limited scale.

Among the unimproved local cultivars this fruit might be classified fourth in quality after Apple, Ngowe and Boribo. The fruit is very large, round and has a rich olive-green to purple-maroon colour. Average length measures 10.7 cm by 10.6 cm in width and weight ranges from 470 to 590 g (average: 523 g). The internal quality is usually good both in texture—with little fibre—and in flavour. Fruits show a prominent beak and the flesh is pale orange.



The trees are relatively small, round in shape and bear a medium-sized crop. Maturity season starts in mid-January and ends in March.



Advantages:

Disadvantages:

Boribo


This cultivar also originated from a chance seedling found at the Kenya coast. The tree is grown extensively in the Malindi area.

The fruit is large and oblong but not as slender as Ngowe. The shoulders are only slightly curved, and the beak is obscure. The average fruit dimensions are: 11.5 cm long by 7.8 cm broad with a weight range of 430–640 g (mean: 511 g). The fruits are pale olive green with bloom and yellow-apricot when ripe. The internal fruit quality is good to excellent; the flesh is of a deep orange colour, virtually free from fibre, juicy, and of a very strong typical mango flavour. Propagation by seed is possible.



The tree is large and vigorous, and the picking season covers the months of January to February. There is no alternate bearing and the yields are medium to heavy.



Advantages:

  • seed propagation possible (polyembryonic)

  • regular bearing

  • fairly anthracnose resistant

Disadvantages:

  • susceptible to powdery mildew

  • flavour not liked by everybody

  • tree size

Carabao


This early mid-season cultivar originates from the Philippines where it is grown on a large scale for both local consumption and export. Since the seed is polyembryonic, propagation is easily done.

The medium-sized oblong to elongated and light green to yellow fruits are blushed with few small green dots (lenticels); the base is rounded to slightly flattened. The average dimensions are 13 cm long by 7.5 cm wide with weight ranging between 220 and 311 g. The skin is thin and medium-tough. The flesh is tender and melting with only a few fibres, lemon yellow, spicy and sweet with good to excellent eating quality. The fruits are produced in clusters.



The tree is vigorous, forming a large and dense canopy. It is a medium to heavy bearer but may alternate. Very good resistance to diseases has been recorded.



Advantages:

Disadvantages:
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