Locating and managing the mango (Mangifera indica L.) genetic resources in Nepal
Authors: Abishkar Subedi, Jwala Bajracharya, Bhuwon Ratna Sthapit, Bal Krishna Joshi, Salik Ram Gupta, Hom Nath Regmi
Plant Genetic Resources Newsletter, 2008, No. 155: 52–61
Mango diversity in Nepal is increasingly threatened by the commercialization of the production systems, changes in land use, habitat loss and population pressure. An ecogeographic survey was conducted to locate, analyse and assess the current status of mango genetic resources, and suggested conservation and sustainable utilization measures. Fruit samples were collected to characterize 19 qualitative and quantitative characteristics to assess genetic variation and establish relationships. A total of 132 different mango cultivars were identified from 11 districts surveyed. A rich diversity of both commercial and local cultivars was found. Local mango cultivars possess unique characteristics, having both economic and cultural value. Important traits identified included ability to grow in marginal and drought areas, adaptation to high altitude, high rate of fruit setting, fruiting in off-season, special aroma, and fibreless pulp. Introduction of Indian commercial mango varieties and a high rate of logging of old mango trees are major threats to maintenance of mango genetic resources. The paper identified Dadeldhura, Parbat, Dhading, Kavre and Sirah districts as major areas of mango diversity and suggests potential methods of community-based conservation action in Nepal.