'Appe midi' mangoes under threat

The high quality Appe midi grown in the grafted mango tree in the farm belonging to B S Vittal Rao from Balehonnur. DH PHOTO

Talk of pickles and the name of ‘appe midi’ (appe raw mangoes) instantly comes to mind. It is one of the varieties widely used in preparation of mangoes. Unfortunately the trees bearing ‘appe midi’ are blatantly cut for its raw mangoes. Widely found in Malnad region, today the number of ‘appe’ mango trees are declining.

The appe raw mangoes have a distinct aroma, which adds to the flavour the pickle. The pickle prepared out of this mango variety is known as ‘Appe Midi Uppinakayi’ and the pickle can be stored for three years because the raw mangoes do not deteriorate so fast. These mangoes grow in big bunches and sometimes a tree can yield 15,000 to 20,000 mangoes.

Quality check

For those who are unaware of the way to test Appe Midi quality here are the tips. One has to cut the stalk of the raw mango and burn the liquid. If the liquid burns for a long time then it indicates the mango is of good quality.

Tree massacre

When there is a huge demand for these mangoes, the environmentalists are furious over those who are felling the mango trees for personal benefit. One of the environmentalists said those who come to pluck the mangoes, cut the tree to get the raw mango. A dead tree takes 8-10 years to grow and bear fruits again. What is being done here is not justifiable, he says.

As there is a mounting demand for Appe Midi, there is a well planned network which is functioning in the region. The raw mangoes are plucked and are transported to Kerala in trucks. Even these transporters are said to be damaging the trees.

The trees which were bearing mangoes in large bunches few months back are now empty. There is an immediate necessity for the Forest Department to take action in this regard. Amidst all this, the farmers in the region are showing interest to plant Appe mango saplings.

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