Mango aficionados in Kottayam have much to cheer about. The Mango and Honey Festival being organised by the Kottayam Agri-Horticultural Society got underway at the Baselius College auditorium here on Friday.
The three-day event was inaugurated by Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan and the ticket sale of the event was launched by Kottayam municipal chairman M.P. Santhosh Kumar.
The venue of the festival was buzzing with activity on the first day. Braving the heavy rains, a large number of visitors were present to catch a glimpse of the several varieties of mangos that have been displayed.
Besides the much favoured ones like ‘Alphonsa’, ‘Hima Pasand’, ‘Mallika’, ‘Sakkarakatti’ and ‘Malgova’, there are other varieties including ‘R2E2’ from Australia and ‘Nam Dok Mai’ from Thailand. In all there are 232 varieties that have been exhibited. Many of these varieties have also been kept for sale.
According to N.K. Andrews, president of the society, the mangoes for sale have been sourced from plantations in Muthalamada in Palakkad, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. “I can confidently say that 99 per cent of the mangoes have been grown in plantations that do not employ the use of chemical fertilizers,”he said.
The saplings that have been kept for sale are also finding many takers. Besides the Thailand dwarf variety that can be grown on terraces, the saplings of other varieties including ‘Mallika’, ‘Kalpady’ and ‘Hima Pasand’ are also being sold. In addition, honey and products made of honey are also being offered at the festival.
The society had made a total profit of around Rs. 3 lakh through ticket sales during the previous edition of the festival.
Mr. Andrews said that a large share of the profits would be used for the development of the Kottayam Municipal Park.