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How developing a new variety of mango opened the doors to fame and money

Amit Bhatt
Amit Bhatt
ShriKishan with a mango plant in a pot

Mango is the king of fruits and ShriKishan Suman is the developer of a new variety of mangoes. He has been popularized by the media for this and well awarded by the government for this achievement. He is proud of what he has done and is financially secure with the income that he earns by supplying seedlings of this new variety. He was recently interviewed by Tanu Tomar on FTB platform of Krishi Jagran.

Tanu started by asking what his product is, why is it special and how it all started. To this he replied that it all started in year 2000. He said he experimented a lot and after selection and modification he developed a new variety Sadabahar. As the name suggests Sadabahar mangoes grow all round the year, in all seasons. He described the qualities of the fruit next, every bunch of these mangoes grows to be yellow in colour and its pulp is kesaria (saffron) in colour. It's guthali (kernel) is soft and thinner than any variety of mangoes. There are very little fibers in the fruit and you can chop it up like any variety of mangoes. It's taste and shape are excellent. It can be planted in kitchen gardens in earthen flower pots. It can be planted with ultra-density.  

About ShriKishan Suman

He then started to tell us about himself, that he is a farmer scientist, working with Sadabahar mangoes, a variety he developed himself. He is a resident of Girdharpura in Kota, Rajasthan. He has completed his education till 11th standard. In his family he has his father, his wife, his 4 brothers, his 2 sons and 1 daughter.     

Sadabahar Mangoes

He was asked if working with mangoes was a family occupation, to which he replied his ancestors like everyone worked with traditional farming. He like them initially worked in farms, but he was not satisfied as the work heavily depended on mother nature. Their entire crops before harvest would go waste, due to adverse weather conditions like hail storm, heavy rainfall. He was heavily tortured by this as his entire years hard work would go waste. He wanted to work in farming but with something that provided stable and regular income, something that will not be affected by adverse weather conditions. 

So, he decided to grow vegetables which provided regular income and these were not affected by adverse conditions. However these plants got infected with diseases or attacked by pests, insects for which he was forced to use chemicals. He did not feel right, feeding chemicals to the society, and decided to give up growing vegetables. 

Recognition as a Farmer Scientist

Next he took up growing flowers - gulab (Roses), mogra (Arabian Jasmine) and seasonal flowers. They faced same problems as the vegetables, that is diseases and infestation by pests or insects. He again had to use chemicals, however as these are not consumed, there is nothing to fear for humans. He started experimenting with his plants and with grafting technique he was able to grow different coloured flowers on the branches of the plant. This gave him the idea that if we can grow 7 different coloured flowers on a rose plant, why can't we do something similar to fruits and he chose mangoes to work with.

Sadabahar Mangoes

He said farmers planted mango trees to work with, but there may be fruitless years which will lead to financial losses. So to solve this problem he got to work with mango seeds, kernels. He sowed different varieties and one variety started flowering in off season. He separated this plant and started with  grafting and started modifying the plant. This selection and modification gave birth to a new variety, which gives fruits 3 times in a year. The scientists from Research Centre in Lucknow came to see this new variety and complemented him and found that it was disease and pest resistant. These scientists together with me named this new variety Sadabahar. 

Tanu said that patience always pays and asked him how long it took him to achieve all this. He said he started experimenting 20 years ago and he has worked day in day out to be where he is today. He further replied on the question of Chemicals, that this tree and fruits do not require any help from chemicals in growth. He mentioned that if you want to send your mangoes out of state, on export or inter-state orders, you can harvest the mangoes in the right quantity, and these mangoes will ripen on the way, in few days before they are delivered. 

Grow Organic mangoes easily

These mango trees are raised the organic way and if they catch disease, which is rare, they are treated with neem oil or other organic medicines. He then told us about his method of growing mango trees in earthen flower pots. He got his mango variety registered after developing it, and people with access to farms can grow there else those with limited space can grow in pots. Lots of such persons have come in contact with me and he tested whether we can grow this tree in a pot and it was successful. He advised the amount of mangoes you will get, depend on the size of your pot. The bigger your pot is, the greater will be the number of your mangoes. You can have these plants in your offices or kitchen gardens or balconies. This will improve the decor of your premises and at the same time you will have more fruits to eat. 

When asked if any extra ordinary effort is required for such fruits, he replied that the effort and methods for farming these trees are the same as for any other variety. Just dig a hole, add some organic manure like cow dung or termite medicine and grow your tree. You do not need to worry about your trees much, but you need to irrigate it regularly. However the water given should be in right quantity, as excess of it can be result in fungus in roots. People believe that if you give excess water your tree will grow quickly and give more fruits, however the opposite happens. So you must not give too much or too less water to the plant.

Awards and Recognition 

Next we asked him to tell us about the awards that he has received. He said the first award he received was from the Chief Minister of the state of Rajasthan, ICAR awarded him with Jagjivan Ram Abhinav Kisan Puraskar. In 2017 his stall was part of the exhibition at the Mughal Garden in Rashtrapati Bhawan, where the President showed appreciation for his work. Mahindra Samriddhi awarded him with Krishi Samrat Samman in 2018, giving him 2 Lakh and 11 thousand Rupees. KVKs and Universities have invited and awarded him a number of times. He has filled forms for more awards by ICAR and other organization, and is hoping to add more to his collection. 

Exporting and buying

His mangoes and mango trees are popular across India, so we asked him if he had thought of overseas markets. He has been exporting "cuttings" to USA as he can't send seedlings due to Indian soil not being allowed in USA. Customers are demanding seedlings for 200-300 acres, but he can only provide the plant cutting. Apart from USA he exports to UK, Germany, Nepal, Italy and Iraq. Foreign visitors often come to him and buy his seedlings. 

We asked him how interested buyers can reach him, he can be contacted though his details in the articles written about him online or offline, his details on the interview videos like this one, he has online presence as "Sadabahar Mango", which you can search on google, Facebook or YouTube. After contacting him he will give you all the details you need and then you can proceed further.

His message to the farmers is that with hard work and perseverance you will always succeed. You can make a good life in farming. There is a big scope and your contributions will be recognized and appreciated, and its an excellent means of livelihood. His product is now in big demand and he delivers only after he has received complete payment. He continues that farmers rarely get what they expect in farming but he thanks god for the position he is in. On being asked he told us that his family assists him in what they do, in things like irrigating seedlings. He needs their help as he is busy with the business side of things and doesn’t have the time to give individual attention to the seedlings, plants and trees. He has hired labour services to assist him with the manual effort required in every farm. His family is financially secure and they have no money worries. Please click here to see the video.

Shrikishan Suman

Shrikishan Suman

Kota, Rajasthan

Sadabahar Aam

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