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Cultivation and utilisation of mango in the Sultanate of Oman.

Cultivation and Utilisation of Mango in the Sultanate of Oman

As UNIDO CONSULTANT I worked in and Sultanate of Oman in Agriculture and Fisheries and Studied the process of Production in the Agriculture Sector including Mango. It would be pertinent here to quote figures on area, population, topography, pattern of crops there.


The Sultanate of Oman, the second largest country of the Arabian Peninsula. It has coast line, 1,700 k.m. from the straits of Hormuz in the North to the borders of Peoples Democratic Republic of Yemen, overlooking three seas; Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman and Arabian Sea.

It borders with Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates in the west; People's Democratic Republic of Yemen in South with the Straits of Hormuz in the North and with the Arabian Sea in the East. The total area of Oman is about 300,000 sq. km.


Though the population census of the Sultanate of Oman has yet not been conducted, the population is estimated at 2,000,000 for planning purposes. The estimated average annual population growth rate is at 3.5% according to the 1988 estimates.


The Sultanate is composed of varying topographic areas, consisting of plains, wadis and mountains: 1. Plain area occupies 9,000 sq. km.

(3% of the total) 2. Mountain occupies 45,000 sq. km.

(15%). 3. The remaining areas composed of

sand and dessert and occupies

246,000 sq. km. (82% of the total



The important crops for Sultanate of Oman are Dates, Limes, Banana, Coconut, Tomato, Onion, Water Melon, Alfalfa, Wheat, Maize, etc.

The other crops which also include and are insignificant such as Papayas, Carrots, S. Potato, Raddish, Egg Plant, Squash Lobia, Guava, Grapes, Mango Pomogranates. It is estimated that total production of fruits and vegetables within four years (1985-1988) has increased from 760,700 tons to 1002,600 tons in the Sultanate of Oman. Similarly the imports of fruits and vegetables within four years (1985-88) increased from 86900 tons to 330220 tons totalled.

While working there a news item published in the |TIMES OF OMAN' of March 8, 1990 stated that the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Sultanate of Oman would launch a programme which aimed at improving the production of mangoes. That would presumably, turn the country hitherto an importer of the fruit, into a potential exporter.

Under the programme the production of superior varieties of mangoes is planned and over 30,000 seedlings are to be distributed to farmers each year for their growth throughout the country. Following implementation of the programme Mr. Tariq Al-zedjali, Director of Agriculture Research, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries assured export from Oman superior quality mango to other countries, particularly Gulf States, within a short span of time.

The Department, he said, had identified 25 superior exotic varieties which could grow wellin Omani soil and climate (environment). Each mango grown, he added, could weigh 900 gms.

Eighty-nine varietiies of Muscati and Rumani mangoes were found suitable for actual cultivation Further studies of the environment that would suit best the cultivation of particular variety of mangoes and some other fruits of the Arab World continued, the Director added.

Mango tree it should be noted needs more water than the date palm. Besides some varieties of mango tolerate, to a certain extent, salinity also. Presently Oman is importing all its mangoes mostly from India and Pakistan.

The project, the Director added, was part of the long-term Policy of Oman aiming at the reduced dependence of Omani's economy on oil production. The policy included the raising of the standard of living of the farmers, promotion of natural food security and generation of new employment opportunities.

Following are the figures of production of mangoes in Oman from 1985 to 1988.

Table : Production 1000 Tons
 1985 1986 1987 1988
Mango 6.3 6.9 7.6 7.6

Mango cultivated area in Hectares. [Tabular Data Omitted]


For the propagation of mango, seed as well as vegetative ways, such as cuttings, layering, budding or grafting are employed.

Until recently most common method employed was growing of mango by seed because the trees required less attention, lived longer and bore heavier crops than the grafted ones. But for the production of mangoes of standard quality, this method could not be relied upon.

Trees growing for orchards through seed is now only an experimental measure idulged in plant breeders and nursery men who continue exploring the possibilities of evolving newer forms through natural hybridization. Mango Seedlings are usually required in large quantity for use as Root Stocks in budding and grafting operations.

Vegetative Methods

Inarching an ancient method of vegetative propagation is quite simple and involves giving of a long cut on both the stock and scion, and binding them with the short attached to the mother plant till the union of the tissues is completed. This is the most common method of commercial multiplication of mango which isin use throughout the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent.


Mango can grow on a wide variety of soils for good results it requires deep, well-drained soil of loamy texture. Soils which are not well drained are unsuitable for mango cultivation. Similarly soils with hard pans, compact Kankar layers and alkalinity are considered unsuitable. When the pH of soil is not higher than 7.5 it is suitable of cultivation. However, mango can be grown in all types of soils except black lands and pure sands.

The soil of some parts of Oman is ideally suited to mango cultivation. The best mango grows where the soil is deep and rich alluvial loam is available but it can also be grown successfully on different kinds of soil. In deep sandy loam the growth is excellent. Clay, if well drained, is also satisfactory.

There are two classes of mangoes: 1) Seedling races 2) Horticultural varieties.

Seedlings Races: Seedling races produce more than one seedling per seed and Horticultural varieties are propagated exclusively by grafting and budding.

Planting and Care

The mango is a long living tree if properly care taken, it continues to yield profitably for several years than most other fruit trees.

Its planting needs considerable preplanning by way of careful selection of SITE, suitable drainage, adequate preparatory till-age, layout and proper selection and planting of trees, in order to ensure continued good production, high-quality fruit, ready marketability and sound economic returns against reasonable maintenance costs. The belief that the mango trees does not require special care at the time of planting and that it grows and crops satisfactorily even if left to itself is erroneous. In fact, mango plantations benefit greatly if proper care and attention are given at the time of planting and immediately thereafter. Sometimes the care exercised in the selection of site and at planting operations may determine the success or failure of a mango orchard.

Climate and Cultivation

Mango can thrive in varied climatic conditions but for its profitable commercial cultivation it needs inter-relationship of specific well-defined ranges of temperature, rainfall, wind and attributed soil etc. further discussion of these follows:


Mango flourishes well in tropical and sub-tropical climate. It can grow in regions where minimum temperature is as low as 32oF and as high as 115oF. The temperature largely affects the condition of the plant itself. For perfect growth of the plant temperature should vary from 75oF to 85oF. At places where mean temperature is 65oF the growth of the plant is low. Mango growing is possible at different heights ranging from sea level to an altitude of 5,000 ft. But for commercial cultivation of mango limited elevation should be 2000 ft. But potential growers be warned that above 2000 ft. most of the trees are affected severally by low winter temperatures. Mostly the temperature adversely affects the flowering and fruiting of the mango.

Growth without irrigation is possible in areas with a heavy rainfall but at places where rainfall is less than 8 inches per year, irrigation has to be resorted to the rainfall is nevertheless not as important as the season particularly in places where dry season coincides with its normal flowering. But during the blossoming season rainfall becomes important. Mango is badly affected by frost and hot winds along. The damage to fruit is caused by several other factors, such as, age, moisture of the soil, condition of growth and duration of the frost. Young trees (age 4-5 years) should therefore be protected from frost and hot winds. In humid regions mango trees have a ragged appearance, with unhealthy foliage. In this situation fruit does not ripe well at the time of ripening of the fruit, a dry and hot season is required.

In Oman mango season starts from May and ends in July. However, some varieties are available upto August.

Mango Products

Mango fruit is widely grown throughout tropical and sub-tropical regions. Even though mainly eaten fresh as a dessert, various products of mango can be prepared. Considerable interest in mango has grown in several processing countries which in exploring the possibilities of utilising surplus fresh fruit for processing. The following principal mango products that will suit the requirements of the market have entered international market Pickle, Chutney, Juice, Pulp, Canned Mango Slices in Syrup and Slices in Brine. Other products of lesser importance are mango Jam, Nectar, Flour and Dried Slices etc.

Pakistan after India is one of the important producers of mango and its products followed by South Africa, U.K. Jamaica, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Ceylon, Kenya and Australia etc.

World Exports

World trade in mango products is estimated to be not more than 100,000 tons, dominated mainly by four countries, viz, India, Jamaica, South Africa and Pakistan. Other exporting countries are Mexico, Ceylon, U.S.A., China and Cuba. U.K. is presently the main importer of mango products and the second world producer and exporter of mango chutney prepared from mango slices in brine mostly imported from India, Jamaica and Australia.

Jamaica is the world's second most important exporter of mango slices in brine and mango slices in syrup. India, South Africa and Pakistan are the main suppliers of mango slices in syrup, besides Sri Lanka, Jamaica, Mexico, Cuba and China. Detailed figures are given below: Regarding Oman

Table : Value and Weight of exports: Guavas, mangoes & Mango Steems Fresh or Dried

1988 R.O. 228 200 Kg
1987 R.O. 6310 16100 Kg

Table : Value and Weight of Imports Guavas, Mangoes & Mango Steems Fresh or Dried

1988 R.O. 1774221 Kg. 3052284
1987 R.O. 1481546 Kg. 2423362

Utilisation of Mango Waste

Peels and Seeds from ripe as well as unripe mangoes are important wastes that are normally not consumed. It has been estimated that the total weight of the fruit varies from 35-55 per cent, depending on the variety and quality of the mango. The dried peels can be used as a cattle feed. Vinegar can be prepared from mango peel, stones can be utilised in any country where there is scarcity of cereals. Mango seed kernels comprise protein (8.5%), fat (8-12%), carbohydrate (79.2%), minerals (2.6%) fibre (2%), calcium (0.21%) and Phosphorous (0.21%). The fat and calcium contents of mango are higher than those of cereals but its protein content is lower than that of wheat, maize, and barley. All the same it compares favourably with rice. The kernel in mango stone can be dried, powdered and used as flour. Oil can also be extracted from the seed kernel.

Extraction of Starch

Mango kernel is a good source of starch. It can find its use in textile, jute, paper and other industries. The kernels are kept under water five to ten times their own volume with a small quantity of sulphur dioxide for about 24 hours. The water is drained off and kernels are crushed in stone grinders after one more washing with water. The process of washing with large quantities of water is repeated and strained through fine cloth. The strained water containing starch treated with sulphur dioxide is allowed to settle for six hours and the sediment separated by siphoning off the supernatant liquid. The pH of the sediment is adjusted between 10 and 11 and it is dried and prepared in the usual way.

Animal Feed

The dried kernels with less than 10 per cent moisture have good prospects as fodder supplement because of the balanced proportion of amino acids in them. Regarding its acceptability as fodder, biological tests with rats have confirmed that kernels could replace 60 per cent of wheat or maize in cattle ration. Seed oil, which forms about 12 per cent of the weight of kernel is another by-product. It can be extracted by expellers or with solvents, and used in soaps and as a medicine. The seed meal left after extraction can be used as cattle feed or manure.
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Author:Nazri, M.M.
Publication:Economic Review
Date:Jul 1, 1991
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