The Amazing Abundance of Mango

in Panama and the Tropics

by Keith Agoada

Mangos of Panama
Mangos of Panama

It seems that wherever I travel in the tropics there is always an abundance of mango during the mango harvest season.

Mango is a tree that gives out an incredible amount of fruit each year, perhaps 1000 pieces on a mature mango tree.

Furthermore, most of these mangos that I come across in the tropics are not from agricultural operations. They are mangos that grew wild from people and wild animals moving around seeds, or perhaps mangos that were planted by local community members years ago, that continue to thrive.

The mangos that are exported and end up on supermarket shelves or packaged products are almost entirely from cultivated mango orchards. The documentation, traceability, and quality control of wild mangos makes it very different to commercialize on international markets.

During mango season, there is way more mangos than people know what to do with! Thus, it's not uncommon to see perfectly good organic mangos fall to the ground beneath the tree. As a foreigner who pays $3 for an organic mango in the United States, it a hard pill to swallow to see all those "wasted" mangos. But to the locals in Panama, the "wasted" mangos is actually an issue because it can create sanitary and cleanliness issues for towns and cities.

In this case, one man's trash is another man's treasure.

I took some mango photos using my cell phone when touring the Simply Natural Farms during a harvest season. All the mango trees at Simply Natural are properly maintained using proper organic horticultural practices. It is interesting to see the difference in the size and quality of fruit from the cultivated mangos versus the wild ones.

The wild mangos often have lots of fibers, and a less sweet taste, making them less interesting for consumption than the more well known Kent, Tommy, and Keit varieties.

Mangos of Panama
Mangos of Panama