Mango is likely to be the most popular – and cheapest – fruit at the market this summer, This year’s mango crop will be about 20 percent bigger than last year’s, according to fruit marketers, as the fruits of research conducted on mango production over the past few years begin to show up on the trees. A total of some 80,000 tons of mango are set to hit the local markets at the end of June, when the harvest of new strains of mango begins.
Most of Israel’s mango production is located around the Kinneret, especially in the Beit Shean Valley. This year, farmers planted some 18,000 dunams of the fruit, with the average yield this year set to be between 4 and 6 tons per dunam – a marked increase over the average 1.5-ton yield in the past.
The increase comes as a result of scientific studies that have been conducted in recent years, in which scientists discovered that the yields are better when trees are planted in iron-rich small stones (tof) instead of in soil. Avi Maoz of the Merom Golan company, which supplies the stones, told Channel Ten that the change makes a big difference. “After some experimentation, scientists determined that mango trees thrive in iron-rich substructure. It’s difficult for the trees to absorb iron from regular soil, but they thrived in the small stone substructure,” he said.
As a result, the areas where mango trees can be planted are larger as well, since the prime soil that has been used in the past is no longer needed; the stones can be placed even in less productive soil, Maoz added.