Vol. 6, Issue 6 (2017)
Mango: History origin and distribution
Author(s): Deependra Yadav and SP Singh
Abstract: Mango is native to India and is one of the most important fruit crops world-wide. Its botanical name is Mangifera indica L. and is the most important species of the genus Mangifera, which produces the most delicious fruit called the mango. The genus Mangifera contains about 49 species, of which 8 are of doubtful status and 41 are valid species. Morphologically the genus could be separated under two sections based on the character of the flower disc: the first, with 34 species, has flowers with well developed swollen disc, and the second, with 7 species, has obsolete or pedicellate disc. The cultivation of mango in India is as old as 4,000 to 6000 years. Hsüan-tsang appears to be the first person to bring the mango to the notice of people outside India. Historical records and palaeo- botanical evidences provide ample proof about its origin in the Indo-Burma-Malay region. It moved to China by the 7th Century; to East Africa around the 10th Century AD; to the Philippines in the beginning of the 15th Century. It spread from South and Southeast Asia over the tropical and subtropical areas of the world from the end of the 15th Century onward. It reached Africa during the 16th Century; Brazil in the 1700s; Mexico early in the 19th Century; Jamaica in 1782; Hawaii in 1809 and America during the second half of the 19th Century. Afterward it began popping up all over the world. Today, many of the popular varieties of mango grown around the world are derived from the mango produced in Florida (USA). Geographic spread of mango was essentially completed in the last half of the 19th Century with its introduction to such far flung places as Florida, Hawaii, Fiji, Queensland and Natal. The Portuguese are said to introduce vegetative propagation methods in India for the first time to clone superior mono-embryonic trees in the 15th Century. The most important mango cultivars of India (Alphonso, Dashehari, Langra etc.), are selections made at the time of Akbar (1542–1605 AD) and have been propagated by vegetative method for several hundred years. Though, a tropical fruit, it is now cultivated under subtropical conditions in 89 countries of the world. The major mango growing countries are India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Florida and Hawaii of USA, Australia, Brazil, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Fiji Islands, Egypt, Israel, South Africa, Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Niger, Nigeria, Zaire, Madagascar, Mauritius, Venezuela, Mexico, West Indies Islands, Cambodia, etc.