Udupi man grows world’s most expensive mango in terrace garden


Team Udayavani, May 17, 2024, 11:57 AM IST

The Miyazaki mango, renowned as the world’s most valuable and expensive mango, has now been successfully grown on a terrace in Udupi’s Shankarpura by Joseph Lobo, who is known for his innovative terrace farming.

Originating from Japan, the Miyazaki mango is cultivated in controlled environments with heaters to create optimal conditions. The fruit, initially purple, turns fiery red when ripe. The best quality mango of this variety fetches between Rs 2.3 to 2.7 lakh per kg in the international markets due to its medicinal properties and taste, similar to the Mallika variety.

Three and a half years ago, Joseph purchased a Miyazaki mango sapling for Rs 16,800 at an agricultural fair in Kannur, Kerala. Two and a half years ago, only one flower had bloomed on the tree, but it has now borne three fruits, each weighing 600 to 650 grams. Joseph is cultivating the mango in a jute bag by using organic manure.

However, the mangoes grown in Shankarpura have not achieved the typical fiery red color due to the January rains, unlike those grown in Japan, the Arab nations, and Gujarat.

The tree, which usually grows up to 15 feet tall if planted in the ground, has reached four and a half feet on the terrace. Joseph suggests that with a larger grow bag and additional organic fertilizer, the tree could grow to 6.5 feet and produce mangoes weighing up to 1 kg.

Joseph cautions about buying fake Miyazaki saplings. Red Mango saplings which are sold for Rs 700-800 are many times sold as Miyazaki saplings which cost at least Rs 2,500.

Joseph Lobo, an experimental farmer, has transformed his 1,400-square-foot terrace into a lush garden with over 200 fruit plants, 75 medicinal plants, and 40 flower varieties. His wife, Neema Lobo, and daughter, karate champion Janisha Lobo, assist him. Notably, he does not sell any produce from his terrace garden.

The high price of Miyazaki mangoes is attributed to their striking appearance and medicinal benefits, including antioxidants, beta-carotene, and folic acid, which are beneficial for eye health. Despite its global fame and high price, such value might not be realized locally. Joseph’s endeavor demonstrates that limited space is not a barrier to farming, encouraging young people to cultivate plants even on their terraces.

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