Researchers at Bangladesh Agricultural University's (BAU) Germplasm Centre have developed three new varieties of mangoes this season. The centre, one of the world's largest fruit repositories, is now enriched with 25 local and foreign mango varieties, said Prof Dr Abdur Rahim, project director of the centre.
The three mango varieties (BAU-23, BAU-24, BAU-25) were collected from Vietnam, Philippines and Thailand in 2012 and have been developed at the centre after around six-year long research, Dr Rahim said.
Along with these three new varieties, another 10 varieties are being developed. These new varieties are largely being developed at farmers' level. Some 200 saplings were distributed among 50 farmers to cultivate. The farmers were trained this season.
These new varieties are expected to see large scale cultivation within the next three years, said Dr Rahim.
At the end of the summer, the season for mangoes, a fruit crisis prevails in the market. This is where these mango varieties will step in. Available from July to September, these mangoes will ensure that the fruit and its nutritious values will be available throughout the year, hoped Dr Rahim.
The centre started with 74 fruit trees of 10 varieties on one acre of land in 1991. Today, it is on 32 acres of land, with some 11,528 fruit trees of 800 varieties, including 60 foreign varieties. Internationally reputed scientists from home and abroad have visited the centre on different occasions.
According to thedailystar.net, nearly 70 extinct varieties of mango, like boichi, dumur, dewa, paniwala, betul, gab, chalta and arboroi have brought variety to the centre, said Md Moniruzzaman, a research fellow. Besides mangoes, The centre has also shown its capability to develop foreign fruit varieties, enriched with nutrition, which are in great demand in local markers.