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Considering the significance of early mango variety in enhancing profitability of mango growers of the region, a Field Day on “Arka Neelachal Kesari: An Extra Early Mango Variety” was organized by CHES (ICAR-IIHR), Bhubaneswar on March 17, 2023. Scientists, entrepreneurs, mango growers from different districts of Odisha participated in the program. Prospects, production technology, value addition and market potential were major highlights of the program. At the outset Dr. P. Srinivas, Head I/c, welcomed the guests and highlighted the research and extension activities of the station. He told that varietal diversity in mango is needed for income sustainability. Prof. D. K. Dash, Dean, Deptt. of Agriculture, C V Raman Global University in his inaugural address called upon the farmers to cultivate early mango variety for enhancing their income. Sh. Sukant Kumar Subodhi, Joint Director, Directorate of Horticulture Govt. of Odisha advised the farmers to cultivate early, mid and late variety of mango to minimize the risk of crop failure. He further stated that, the government is committed to extend financial help to mango growers through various schemes. He appreciated the effort of CHES, Bhubaneswar in the development of fruit industry in the state. On this occasion, Sh. Pramod Kumar Panda and Sh. Chandan Kumar Khuntia were felicitated for their significant contribution towards adoption and cultivation of Arka Neelachal Kesari mango.

Dr. V. Pandey, ICAR, New Delhi highlighted the prospects of Arka Neelachal Kesari in the region. He told that it has great market potential as its maturity starts in March-April when other mango varieties are not available. He further told that the variety has great advantage of being fruit fly free. Dr. Kundan Kishore, gave a brief account of program as well as a broad overview on scientific production technology of Arka Neelachal Kesari under high density plantation through efficient management of canopy, water and nutrient. Dr. R. B. Tiwari, ICAR-IIHR Bengaluru highlighted the importance of value addition in early mango for obtaining income even from undersized fruits. Dr. Deepa Samant, highlighted water management and role of PGRs in quality mango production, whereas pest and disease management aspect was covered by Dr. P. Srinivas.

Visit of demonstration plots was arranged wherein participants were exposed to scientific production technologies of Arka Neelachal Kesari. Post-harvest aspects such as washing, grading, hot water treatment, ethylene gas mediated ripening and packagings were also demonstrated. Participants realized the potential of early mango in the state and expressed their willingness to allocate significant proportion of land for Arka Neelachal Kesari. Entrepreneurs also showed their enthusiasm for developing efficient marketing channel for Arka Neelachal Kesari. The program was coordinated by Dr. Kundan Kishore with the help of Dr. Deepa Samant, Mrs. Suchitra Behera and project workers. The program was organized under RKVY Post-harvest project.

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