A 52 years old farmer dedicates 15 years to revive an extinct Mango

The mango tree withered until six years of the new millennium. In 2006 Shamkant decided to conserve the mango tree and brought home a couple of branches and made grafts of them to plant on the three gunthas (3000 sq. ft) of land.

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Shamkant Thange has successfully revived a once-popular mango variety in his two-acre orchard in Tikhol village, Ahmednagar Maharashtra. This news has spread like a wildfire and he has been receiving a stream of visitors including farmers from Sindhudurg. The mango is locally known as 'Tikhliya' and has swamped hundreds of orders. The 52-year-old has assured the buyers to offer the saplings by early next year.

Tikhol is a small village with 2,000 plus inhabitants in the Sahyadri range. The village is barely 3 km from National Highway 61. It consists of an earthen dam, that caters to drinking water, and also the farmers utilize it for irrigating crops like bajra, sweet pea, onion, tomato, sugarcane, and beans. The village also adjoins the Ralegan Siddhi, considered to be a model of environmental conservation.

Reportedly, the Tikhliya mango trees have stood on the edge of the village since the British era, but they stopped yielding fruits in the early 90s. The mango tree withered until six years of the new millennium. In 2006 Shamkant decided to conserve the mango tree and brought home a couple of branches and made grafts of them to plant on the three gunthas (3000 sq. ft) of land. It took him 15 long years to revive Tikhliya mangos. Shamkant now grows upto 200 mangoes trees on his two acre orchard.

There are two theories behind the mangoes name; first, because it belonged to Tikhol village, and second, because of its light green dots (tikki in Marathi) on the body of the fruit. Mango trees in Maharashtra come up alongside a river or a pond which are called Raiwal or gavran amba (local mango variety). Tikhliya is a variety of raiwal mango. It has a special place in the heart of Tikhol and its neighboring villages.