Sometimes called the ‘king of fruits’, the area under mango cultivation has grown considerably in East Africa. Mango is eaten fresh, or dried, and is used to make juice, jam, and chutney.
Kenya’s average mango yield per hectare is about 16 tons of fruit. A single large healthy mango tree can produce over 1000 fruits for sale annually. A farmer may be able to sell each mango for up to KES 50, giving him an annual income of KES 50,000 (appproximately US $600) from each tree!
Mango trees flower in synchrony, bearing many flowers at the same time. They are dependent on optimal weather, and sufficient numbers of pollinators to successful set fruit.
Mango tree flowers are simple, open, and small in size. They are visited and pollinated by different kinds of wasps and even ants, but flies, and stingless bees are thought to be the main pollinators of mangoes. As mangoes flower only seasonally, a grower of mangoes will need to maintain patches of natural habitat and wildflowers, for wild insect pollinators when mango trees are not in flower.