Jayaprakash Narakkat

Justrop

Hi, I'm Jayaprakash Narakkat (but many people call me "JP") and I supply organic mango's to Nature & More. Basically, I belong to a farming family who live in Kerala, a small state in South of India, while in the north of the country I work together with several organic mango growers, through our company Justrop. 

In India, mango is a legend fruit and we have a huge natural varieties of mango's. They originate from South-East Asia and have been grown in India for centuries. We have more than a thousand varieties and even commercial clones are in hundreds. Two varieties that we grow for Nature & More are Alfonso and Kesar. They are both very sweet, aromatic and have a creamy texture. 

I work closely together with three small groups of mango growers, in Maharashtra State, Ratnagiri, in Karnataka state, Hubli, and in Gujarat state, Kuttchh. I helped them to convert to organic farming 10 years ago and they are very happy about it now. They were applying a lot of pesticides in the past, which resulted in growers and employees falling often ill. Now their health expenses have gone down considerably and they enjoy their work much more! 

Let me tell you a bit more about our mango's and where they are grown. Alfonso mango's are yellow and are considered to be India's pride and king of fruit. They're sweet, aromatic, small, creamy and have little fibre. I work with two groups of growers who grow them. The first consists of 7 growers in the state of Maharashtra, 350 km east from Mumbai. The other group is located in Hubli in the state of Karnataka, 450 km to the South of the city of Bengaluru. This farm consists of 25 growers. Both groups have been organically certified since 8 years. Their farms have red, latrite soil which gives the variety, Alfonso mango, its uniqueness and the best taste!

Our Kesar mango is grown in Gujarat, a desert area called Kuttchh near the border of Pakistan. Kesar mango's are golden and green, very sweet, creamy and contain little fibre just like Alfonso. This desert area, Kuttchh is the very best region to grow these mango's, which prefer a calciferous soil. They are grown by a family of 27 members, the Bhandukia, which consists of three brothers, their children and their grandchildren. They started growing organic mango's in 2002.

We are very proud of our amazing mango biodiversity in India, and hope you will get a taste of it! 

Interview with Jayaprakash Narakkat (J-P):

How did you get interested in organic farming?

I learned about organic farming in 1994, when I was trained by a Californian farmer and an Israeli farmer. Before that, I was working in my family farm, basically cultivating in traditional Indian organic way. My father was also an organic farmer. I grew up on our family farm, near to the sea. However, I noticed that inputs were rising over the years while output was not growing anymore. So we decided to try natural farming. We grow coconuts, rice and we also do fish farming on the rice fields in the brackish water of Kerala, a small state in South India. Rice plant debris in water is perfect food for fish or prawns and fish waste is used as natural manure for rice. We plant rice in June, at the onset of rains with monsoon clouds and harvest it in October or November. Because we are close to the sea, we use a rice variety that is tolerant to salinity. The modern rice varieties of the so-called "Green Revolution" are no use to us in our area of Kerala! Since 1994, I started developing organic mango production in India, on 1800 acres of land..

How did your mango growers feel about converting to organic?

In the beginning there was some resistance, because they didn't believe that it was possible to grow fruit without pesticide. Conventional farms spray a lot of chemicals in India. But once they have converted, they got convinced. One grower that I know was the happiest man on earth when I spoke to him the last time. His workers used to get ill very frequently when he was still working with pesticides. After converting to organic, they stayed much healthier, so his insurance costs had gone down considerably! Besides that, they were enjoying their work much more.

 

You are here

What am I growing?

Geolocation is 15.3647083, 75.12395470000001

Sustainability flower

Tabs

Where to find?

Map

Add new comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
4 + 9 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.