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Mango Festival celebrated at Navdanya



Dehradun, 7 Jul: For 4 decades, Navdanya has been a pioneer in protecting, using and regenerating biodiversity. The Navdanya Biodiversity Conservation farm has planted and preserved 120 species of trees.

In its living seed bank, it annually grows 1000 food varieties of crops. As the monsoon comes, it gets ready to transplant its 750 varieties of rice and harvest 9 varieties of mangoes including Langra, Dussehri, Chausa, Gulab Jamun, Lal Pari, Totapari, Fazil, Kalmi, Achari and Kisam.

Navdanya organised a Mango Festival to celebrate the mango harvest, here, today.

The green revolution reduced thinking to monocultures of 2 crops, rice and wheat, grown chemically. But India is the land of diversity. Monoculture of the mind also made people think that food is just rice and wheat. The mangoes, litchees, kathals, peaches, apricots were all forgotten.

As the mango festival reiterated, fruit trees are vital not just for nutrition but also for ecological functions and climate resilience. As the Navdanya research showed, there is a 25-degree temperature difference between land where trees are planted and land under concrete. Navdanya’s research on its farm showed the temperature of the soil under mango trees was 10 degrees lower than the soil in neighbouring chemical farms. Moisture was 15% higher in the mango orchard than the chemical farms.

Given that the world faces multiple ecological crises of soil water biodiversity climate hunger and malnutrition fruit trees like mango provide answers.

Mango tasting of 8 varieties of mangoes freshly harvested from the mango trees took place and refreshing mango drinks were consumed.

Twenty one mango dishes of diversity were relished by one hundred members of the Doon Valley community as they experienced the essence of biodiversity conserved by Navdanya at the mango festival.

Children accompanied their families and came back multiple times for another helping. After the fest, they played in the mango trees in total freedom.

The mango festival was celebrated during the period of Vanamahotsav which was started by KM Munshi to regenerate India’s ecology, wealth and prosperity and the close relationship with nature. Tagore had called India an Aranya Sanskriti, a forest and ecological civilisation.

Dr Vandana Shiva said on the occasion that Doon Valley was a green valley. The trees and the forest and the mangoes and litchees in the orchards kept the valley cool, regulated the water flow and created beauty. She expressed happiness that an effort is been made to regreen Doon Valley and plant trees.