Karnataka state has unique position with respect to the diversity of pickling mango varieties. The state is famous for its tender mango fruits, which is used for pickling known as ‘Appemidi. ‘Appemidi (midi means tender mango in Kannada) is the King of all tender mangoes’, as far as its use in pickle industry is concerned. Pickles are an integral part of meals in every Indian household, and pickles prepared from Appemidi mangoes make for an exquisite culinary experience. The demand for pickles varies from 4,000 to 5,000 tonnes per year, translating to more than Rs 100 crores per year. Ripponpet market in Shivamogga sees a turnover of several lakhs of rupees during the months of March and April. A good quality tender mango costs Rs 2-3 per fruit; the price for a quintal could go up to almost Rs 6000, depending on demand and availability. Since the supply of Appemidi meets only one-tenth of demand in the market and are often mixed with the ordinary tender mangoes, this is not a very organized market compared to others. Appemidi products have high potential for marketing, needs attention for their long term conservation. These tiny unique mangoes are grown in Sirsi, Sagar, Siddapur, Thirthahally regions. The unique size and taste makes pickle one of the best in India. The Appemidi is not just an ordinary mango, its fragrance is so strong that adding just a few midis to an ordinary pickle can change its taste and odour. Among the hundreds of mango varieties used for pickles, Appemidi pickles are the most sought after, as they remain fresh for years. In the areas of their origin, Appemidis are also used to make gojju (a kind of chutney), sasuve (a different preparation), appehuli, chutney and thambli, which are good digestive. Pickle making has become a virtual home industry in the last decade. It is said that over 100 farm households are engaged in making pickles, producing around 100 tonnes a year alone in Karnataka. Home producers supply pickle in simple glass jars. These homemade pickles have no artificial preservatives; the mango latex itself gives the pickle a shelf life of around four years. ICAR-IIHR has surveyed, collected and conserved more than 250 accessions of Appemidi mangoes. This diversity fair will be showcasing more than 100 Appemidi mango varieties, custodian farmers’ varieties and pickles of Appemidi by SHGS and entrepreneurs.
ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) organized a special capacity building programme for the farmers