Man Gets Prison Time for Stealing Mangos

HONOLULU (KHNL) – Tears, victim testimony, and other drama. All for the sentencing of a mango thief.

Honolulu prosecutors say the man should be sent to prison for trying to sell stolen fruit in Chinatown.

Neal Bashford sits in court, sick and tired of being victimized. The owner of Mokuleia Farms on Oahu’s North Shore says he’s losing the battle against crop thieves.

“Not only the financial loss of the fruit, which can be devastating to my farm,” he said. “Sometimes, it’s in excess of $12,000 to $20,000 a year.”

So he wants the judge to drop the hammer on a mango thief. Sinfroso Villegas stole 300 pounds of mangos from Mokuleia Farms last August.

“At some point, we have to put our foot down,” Bashford said. “Stop this. It’s been going on for a long time.”

For the first time, Honolulu prosecutors apply a new law that makes agricultural theft a felony. Bashford says the damage to his company goes beyond the loss of some fruit.

“They damage the trees. They break gates. They tear fences down,” he said. “The damage to the trees is permanent. So I get no fruit production from that part of the tree forever.”

Villegas breaks down in tears, as he asks the judge for leniency.

Mangoes from India, Pakistan now compete in US market

WASHINGTON: Three years after the Indian ” alphanso” landed in the US to the delight of diehard mango lovers, the popular ” chausa” variety from Pakistan has entered American markets this month, leading to cheers from the fruit’s fans.

Traders involved in its import concede that this brings an element of competition between the mango varieties from two countries, though both are facing the problem of high costs and are presently quite far away from the reach of the masses and are not readily available in Indian and Pakistani grocery stores.

Jaidev Sharma, president of Mangozz.com, one of the largest importers of the fruit from India and Pakistan, says that generally mangoes from India have an edge over those from Pakistan.

After the arrival of the first commercial shipment of about 800 boxes of Pakistani “chausa” early this month, a box of six “chausa” mangoes was quickly taken at an unbelievable premium price of USD 60-USD 100.

In the last few years, the Indian “alphanso” has been the costliest variety in the US, with a box (weighing about 3 kgs and containing nine to 12 mangoes) being sold this year at USD 40 to USD 80 in the retail market.

Mango Season Not Pau

By Glenn I. Teves, County Extension Agent, UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources

Mango is called the King of Fruits for good reason. Nothing could be better than an ice cold mango on a hot afternoon. Native to South and Southeast Asia, mango has been cultivated for over 4,000 years, and was introduced into Hawaii in the early 1800s from Mexico. Molokai has an ideal hot, dry growing climate, and the best area is a belt running from Kalamaula to Kamalo. Unfortunately, the further east you go, the windier it gets, and nothing can be more damaging to a potentially great crop of mango than wind blowing off flowers and fruits. On most islands, mango season runs from June to October with the peak in the earlier half of the season, but for Molokai if you look hard enough, you can probably find mango 9 months of the year especially around the Kaunakakai area.

Mango is not without its problems. Of the tens of thousands of flowers it bears, less than a fraction of 1 percent will actually make it to harvest. With the challenges of four to five months of growing from flower to mature fruit, they face serious diseases and other maladies along the way.

Disaster Preparedness

Disaster Preparedness
How Prepared is Your Farming Operation?

Maui Extension Office
Monday, November 26, 2007
11 am ? 1:30 pm

Natural disasters, such as droughts, floods, wild fires, hurricanes, pests, and diseases, can cause excessive economic damage to agricultural production. In addition to crop damage, disasters can also affect farm buildings, machinery, animals, irrigation, family members and employees. Disasters along with marketing difficulties can lead to serious downturns in your farm income.

How prepared are you? This workshop is designed to provide you with information on:
1) preparing your operation for a natural disaster and
2) available and affordable crop insurance programs that minimize risk associated with economic losses.
Note: Now that the “Adjusted Gross Revenue” (AGR) insurance is available for 2008, in effect all Hawaii crops can be insured to some degree ? not just bananas, coffee, papayas, macnuts & nursery.

Speakers:
? USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) administers and oversees farm commodity, credit, conservation, disaster and loan programs. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of the agricultural industry and to help farmers adjust production to meet demand.

? USDA Risk Management Agency Western Regional Office, Davis. USDA RMA helps producers manage their business risks through effective, market-based risk management solutions.

? John Nelson from the Western Center for Risk Management Education (Washington State University) on the new Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) Insurance.

? Dr. Mike Fanning, Executive Vice President, AgriLogic, is a specialist in Agri-Terroism, crop insurance, farm policy analysis, and individual farm risk management.

? Dr. Kent Fleming, an agricultural economist with the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), is an Extension Farm Management Specialist with a focus on risk management education.

The workshop is FREE and lunch (sandwiches or bentos and drinks) will be provided. For more information, visit the website http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/agrisk/ You may also contact Kent Fleming @ 989-3416 or fleming@hawaii.edu or Jan McEwen @ 244-3242 or jmcewen@hawaii.edu

Please call the Maui Extension Office at 244-3242 by November 21, 2007 to register for this seminar.