This elderly man has conserved over 100 exotic pickling mango varieties
Subbanna Heggade is 84-years-old and has collected more than 100 appe midi varieties of mangoes which were on the verge of extinction. The mangoes are preserved and used for pickling as a whole fruit.
Mr. Heggade has visited more than 100 villages in the last 12 years to source mango varieties from which appe midis are made.
“I would visit villages almost on a daily basis along with my wife searching for any appe midi variety,” he recalled his journey with the news. “Since I cannot climb trees, I would plead with someone to help. My wife would then make pickle out of them. If they were good, we would go back and get the scion from the tree for grafting,” he said, while pointing out that it used to take multiple visits to get a single variety.
“I have developed a park around my house where appe midi trees are grown. Due to space constraint, my wife has grafted four to five different varieties on each tree so that we can accommodate more plants in lesser space,” he said.
The collection of varieties includes some 10 rare and premium varieties such as Dombesara Jeerige, Cheene thota jeerege, and many more. Mr. Heggade also encourages others towards the activity for good extension of the work.
The Indian Institute of Horticultural Research has honored Mr. Heggade for his conservation efforts at its ongoing national horticultural fair in Hessarghatta on Wednesday.