Mangoes (Mangifera indica) are among the most beloved and widely grown fruit trees in Kenya. Known for their luscious taste and vibrant colors, mangoes thrive in the country’s diverse climatic conditions. Kenya boasts a wide array of mango varieties, each with its unique flavor, texture, and characteristics. In this article, we will explore the delightful world of mango varieties in Kenya, showcasing their diversity and highlighting their key attributes.
1. Tommy Atkins
Tommy Atkins is one of the most popular mango varieties in Kenya and globally. It is a large-sized mango with an oval shape and a vibrant red blush over green skin. The flesh is deep orange, firm, and fiber-free. Tommy Atkins mangoes have a sweet and tangy flavor, making them perfect for both fresh consumption and processing.
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Tommy Atkins mangoes are grown in various regions of Kenya, including the coastal areas, Rift Valley, and parts of Eastern Kenya. The trees are highly productive and have good disease resistance. They require well-drained soil, regular irrigation, and adequate sunlight to thrive.
Kent mangoes are renowned for their large size and excellent eating quality. They have a round to oval shape with greenish-yellow skin that develops a red blush as they ripen. The flesh is fiberless, juicy, and sweet, with a rich and aromatic flavor.
Kent mangoes are grown in various regions of Kenya, including Meru, Embu, and parts of Nyeri. The trees are vigorous and productive, yielding high-quality fruit. Kent mangoes require well-drained soil and regular irrigation for optimal growth and fruit development.
3. Apple Mango
Apple mango, also known as Ngowe, is a popular mango variety in Kenya, prized for its unique taste and texture. It is a medium-sized mango with a yellowish-green skin that turns golden yellow when fully ripe. The flesh is juicy, fiberless, and has a sweet, aromatic flavor reminiscent of tropical fruits.
Apple mangoes are predominantly grown in the coastal regions of Kenya, particularly in Kilifi and Kwale. The trees are well-suited to the coastal climate and thrive in sandy soils. They require regular irrigation, as they are sensitive to water stress.
Also Read: Pest Affecting Mango Farming In Kenya
Keitt mangoes are known for their large size, juicy flesh, and excellent keeping quality. They have an oval shape with green skin that remains green even when fully ripe. The flesh is fiberless, sweet, and tangy, with a pleasant tropical aroma.
Keitt mangoes are mainly grown in the coastal regions of Kenya, where they benefit from the warm and humid climate. The trees are vigorous and highly productive, with good disease resistance. Keitt mangoes require well-drained soil and regular irrigation for optimal growth and fruit development.
Haden mangoes are an early-season variety, highly regarded for their excellent flavor and attractive appearance. They have an oval to oblong shape with a bright red skin and
green and yellow undertones. The flesh is tender, fiberless, and has a sweet and tropical flavor.
Haden mangoes are cultivated in various regions of Kenya, including Thika, Murang’a, and parts of Rift Valley. The trees are moderately vigorous and productive, requiring well-drained soil and regular irrigation.
Kenya’s mango varieties offer a tantalizing range of flavors, textures, and visual appeal. From the popular Tommy Atkins and Kent to the distinctive Apple and Keitt mangoes, each variety has its own unique characteristics that make them highly sought after. Whether enjoyed fresh, juiced, or processed, mangoes continue to captivate consumers with their delightful taste and versatility. As Kenyan farmers continue to cultivate and introduce new mango varieties, the mango industry in the country is poised for growth and success, contributing to both local consumption and export markets.
Sources: Muchiri, Daniel R., Symon M. Mahungu, and Simon N. Gituanja. “Studies on mango (Mangifera indica, L.) kernel fat of some Kenyan varieties in Meru.” Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society 89.9 (2012): 1567-1575. Link: https://aocs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1007/s11746-012-2054-6
Okoth, D. M., et al. “Evaluation of chemical and nutritional quality attributes of selected mango varieties at three stages of ripeness, grown in lower Eastern province of Kenya–part 2.” (2013). Link: https://m.elewa.org/JAPS/2013/17.3/5.pdf