GANDHIDHAM: If music can have an enchanting effect on humans, it can also help mangoes grow sweeter. Sounds bizarre? Not really, if this cultivator in Kutch is to be believed. Making mangoes ‘listen’ to his music to make tastier has become the USP of Batuksinh Jadeja, who grows the fruit in his Ashapura Farm and Nursery in Mau, a village 37 km from Mandvi. “Like humans, plants too respond to music. Mangoes from our farms are sweeter compared to those from other farms that produce Kesari mangoes,” claims Jadeja.
Mango trees in Jadeja’s orchards get their ‘dose’ of music twice a day. Jadeja has installed speakers across the farm, which is spread over 200 acres, to belt out classical and devotional songs, and aarti for the mango trees. “Bhajans are for mornings while aartis and classical folk songs are slotted for the evenings,” said Batuksinh’s younger brother Prithvirajsinh Jadeja.
Almost 90per cent of the yield from Batuksinh’s farm is exported to London and the Middle East where his mangoes are said to be giving a tough fight to the well-established Sinduri and Chausa varieties from Pakistani. “Our Kesari variety is treated at par with Indian Alphonso which is in high demand in Europe and other countries,” said Batuk. The family is not new to this music therapy. Batuksinh’s father first used music for his banana crop in 1960. “He would play his old bulky radio for the plants. At that time too, our bananas were in great demand and used to fetch almost 25 paise more per dozen,” said Prithvirajsinh.
Batuksinh is among the largest producers in Kutch, famous for the Kesari mangoes. Estimates say Kutch produces between 30,000 and 35,000 tonne of Kesari every season.Estimates say Kutch produces between 30,000 and 35,000 tonne Kesari every season. Last year, the total produce was around 33,000 tonne. Looking at the good monsoon and advancement of summer, farmers are expecting production to cross 35,000 tonne. Last year, Ashapura farm produced around 150 tonne Kesari mangoes and this year, the yield is expected to be over 200 tonne. Orders have already been booked with new buyers from the Middle East showing more interest in the product.
Expecting an increased demand, Batuksinh is also building his pre-cooling and refrigeration unit to assure longevity of his mangoes. "Pre-cooling is essential as the mangoes are shipped to foreign shores. It reduces the latent temperature of mangoes and they remain fresh for a longer period," Batuksinh said. Besides mangoes, Ashapura Farm and Nursery also sells "special" mango saplings (which have been ’treated’ to music) to places like Surat, Vadodara and Navsari, and is planning to expand its farm by around 400 acres.
Courtesy: Daily News & Analysis - Mumbai,India