04 August 2017 Read: 150
The South African Mango Growers Association (SAMGA) held their annual research symposium at Tzaneen Country Lodge at the end of July. This event is one of the highlights on the calendar of local mango growers and features a number of national and international guest speakers who address the attendees.
The aim of the symposium is to update the growers on the latest advances in the fields of cultivars, pests, diseases and research into the mango industry.
“It was as always, a very good event and well attended by all our members,” said Christa De la Port of SAMGA, “we plan on incorporating the symposium with a type of family day in the near future to give the growers and their families a chance to enjoy the day together.”
This year’s headline guest speaker was none other than the acclaimed Doctor Noris Ledesma of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Florida, Miami who discussed the status of mango cultivars, market perspectives and mango cultivar improvement for the future.
Doctor Ledesma is a horticultural specialist in tropical fruits. She has an educational background in Tropical Fruits and Economy, Forestry Engineering, with work experience throughout Latin America, Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Africa, and India. Her work includes collecting Mangifera species and their contribution to the people of Borneo. Ongoing research includes creating interspecific hybrids between Mangifera indica and selected species. She is looking for a perfect mango, a mango variety that possesses tree dwarfness, attractive colour with good quality fruit, and which is tolerant to diseases for new sustainable and organic crops and production systems. Her work has been recorded in The Fruit Hunters movie.
Other speakers included Pieter Buys, Christo Human, Willem Steyn, James Patterson, Gielie Swart and Lise Korsten. After the formalities were concluded, the attendees enjoyed an afternoon of socialising beside the braai fires.