Mangoes are referred to as King of Tropical Fruits. There are different varieties of mango in the market. Even though there are over 50 varieties of mangoes in the world, mangoes in Japan are said to be the costliest. When mangoes in a typical tropical country cost from $2-5/kg, mangoes in Japan cost as high as $2000-5000/kg. Ever wondered why?
Miyazaki Mangoes – Costliest Mangoes
Three major places where mangoes are cultivated in Japan are Kagoshima, Okinawa and Miyazaki. Okinawa is biggest cultivator of mangoes but mangoes from Miyazaki are said to be the costliest in the world.
Miyazaki Mangoes belong to the family of Irwin Mangoes. The colour of Irwin Mangoes are different from the usual mangoes. Usually mangoes have a yellowish-orange color and they belong to the family of Pelican Mangoes. Miyazaki Mangoes have a purplish-red colour which is different and very attractive.
What makes them so costly?
- Unfavourable Climate – Japan does not follow a tropical type of climate. So cultivation of mangoes in Japan is difficult. There are specific places where the climate is favourable to mango’s growth. The only period that suits the growth of mangoes are from April to August.
- Harvesting Method – Farmers in Japan use the greenhouse farming method to grow mangoes. This method is comparatively expensive than traditional farming.
- Special Attention – While growing mangoes, farmers in Japan plug the rest of the mangoes so that maximum nutrition is received by only a selected few.
- Extra Sweetness – Even though Alphonso Mango is considered to be the king of mangoes. But Miyazaki Mangoes are sweeter and are said to contain 15% more sugar than normal mangoes.
- Weight – Miyazaki Mangoes are said to be 350 g heavier than normal mangoes.
- Healthy and Nutritious – Miyazaki Mangoes contain large amounts of beta carotene, folic acid, and antioxidants which makes it healthy.
- Tradition – In Japan, giving fruits as gifts is considered to be of great value. This tradition has been folllowed from a long time.
- Packaging – Since these fruits are of high value, the packaging cost also makes it costly. They are presented as gifts and sellers make sure they look like premium fruits.
Mangoes of Japan in India?
Some years back in Madhya Pradhesh, India, a couple were travelling by train. While on their way to Chennai, they received a few saplings of mango from a stranger. They had no idea and they simply planted them in their farm. After sometime, they were amazed with the quality of mangoes the trees were bearing. Some research later, they found out that those saplings belong to miyazaki mangoes.
This news spreaded like fire in the neighbouring areas, so much so that it was all in the news. They got scared that people would steal those saplings from them. To protect the farm, the couple had to hire 4 guards and 6 watch-dogs.
When places like India are over burdened with production with mangoes, so much so that prices go as down as $0.13 per kg. Japan still sells its over expensive mangoes to the public. It is of course very difficult to curb the sales. A lot of farmers livelihood depends on such sales. Tropical countries where production is in excess should look to sell canned fruits. Canned food is a great way to increase profitability.