Manga: a fruta doce e saborosa que agrada o paladar dos europeus
Have you ever imagined wanting to try a fruit produced in another country and having to wait over a month to eat it and, besides that, rotten? Believe it, this really happened in the 19th century. The movie Victoria & Abdul (2017) shows the passion from the British Queen Victoria for the mango, sweet and delicious fruit, but that took six weeks to come from India by ship and always with a rotten aspect.
The royalty´s passion for mango shows that the fruit already pleased the European taste since those days. Currently, Europe is the main consumer market for the fruit produced in Brazil. And totally different from what happened in 1887, today the mango is transported very quickly. The cold rooms technology for the conservation of the fruit and the evolution in the means of transportation have favored consumption of fresh mango. From the Brazilian farms straight to the table of the European consumer.
The outstanding characteristics of the mango such as juiciness, refreshment and smell make it a popular and a widely consumed fruit. It is very versatile and can be consumed in different ways: with or without the peel, using a spoon, using a knife, with salt or sugar. Mango certainly is a delicious fruit and widely used in several recipes.
Its diversity of colors is also something that catches the attention. An interesting fact is that the shades of orange, green, yellow and red are related to the exposure of the mango to the sun. Therefore, the parts which present more pinkish shades are the ones that receive more sunlight.
For being of Indian origin, mango has adapted quickly to the tropical climate in Brazil. The most common types are sword (espada), rose (rosa), palmer and tommy, varieties which we find in vegetable stands and grocery stores.
But in the region of São Francisco Valley, the main fruit producing center of the country, the most produced types are kent, keitt, palmer and tommy atkins. The region, located between the municipalities of Juazeiro (BA) and Petrolina (PE), is responsible for the expressive numbers for mango production and export in Brazil.
And some people say that producing mango is an easy task. According to the director of Agrodan, Paulo Dantas, the investment that the family made in 1987 to produce mango and other fruits, in Belém do São Francisco (PE), had all the probabilities for failure. “In that time Brazil was facing a hyperinflation, we had no knowledge of agriculture and we did not receive any technical support. No one in the whole region believed in this project”, he said.
Paulo explained that the choice for producing mango was by chance and that himself and his brother did not even analyze the market. “We were lucky. In 1990 we started selling mango in the internal market and after two years the price was so high that we paid off the bank’s lending before the deadline”.
The work and the dedication of the Dantas family reached the external market. In 1992 the company was already focused on international trade. Currently, It is the main mango producer and exporter in Brazil. “Agrodan has grown in the European market due to three pillars: quality of the product, involvement of the employees and customer relations”, highlighted Paulo.
According to data from Abrafrutas, mango was the most exported fruit in 2021. Throughout the year, 272.5 thousand tons were shipped, an increase of 12% in relation to 2020. The revenue obtained was of US$ 248.1 million.
According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), in 2020, the mango harvested area was of 71.8 thousand hectares, with an average yield of 21 thousand kg/hectare.