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Make best use of mango season

Apr 27, 2010, 12:40 PM

Now that we have entered another mango season, it is important that we make the maximum use of these delicious fruit.

The mango fruit which is consumed in almost all households in The Gambia comes in different sizes and tastes.

Mangoes, as of now, can be found on sale by women along the road, in the markets, and in the rural areas, the fruit sellers are encountered seated along the main highways, including at the ferry crossing points.

As we are yet to get fully into the mango season, mango fruit sellers have the tendency to retail the popular fruit at a high price. This must not happen, otherwise only a few can afford to buy, and they end up getting rotten and thrown away - and nobody gains from such a development.

In any case, very soon big markets like Brikama and Serrekunda (especially the Sandika market) would be flooded with mangoes. As a result of the abundance of mangoes in our markets, the price of the juicy fruit will reduce considerably. However, one sad aspect of the whole situation is that the mango is perishable, and most of it will go rotten and to waste.

This is happening, especially now when the means for preserving the fruit are limited, and there are no factories for now in town to turn the product into mango fruit juice, whether bottled or canned.

In fact, this is one challenge our local firms are faced with, that is, to come up with business ventures which will invest in adding value to the fruits and vegetables produced in the country. They do so by utilising the products from our orchards and vegetable gardens to process them into foods which could be sold in local outlets such as the main markets, and supermarkets.

Therefore, it is high time that we have a mango processing plant to produce juice, drinks, jam or jelly, deserts, and other finished products. This will generate more income for farmers, as well as those in the trade. Remember, mangoes are also a rich source of vitamins.

We have said these things in this column on many occasions before, and thus the need to repeat the call. After all, when we have such facilities it benefits everyone in the country, and the processed products could even be exported.

Thus the need for appropriate storage facilities for the fruit, which is vital for the preservation of mangoes.

Rotten mangoes can be harmful to our environment, as well as create discomfort for passers by. Preserving and processing mangoes will enable us eat the fruit all year round.

As we enter the mango season, we take this opportunity to implore all mango sellers and all fruit vendors to always keep their fruits clean at all times.

We also appeal to the general public to obey environmental regulations, and not throw mango skins indiscriminately in the street, as such an attitude would not help the situation, not to mention the negative effects on the environment.

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