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.

Mexican mangoes recalled over salmonella risk

WASHINGTON >> Fruit distributor Splendid Products is recalling several lots of Daniella brand mangoes, which may have triggered an outbreak of salmonella that has sickened more than 100 people in 16 states.

The company said the recalled mangoes come from Mexico and carry the Daniella brand sticker. The affected lot numbers are: 3114, 4051, 4311, 4584 or 4959.

The mangoes were sold at various U.S. retailers between July 12 and August 29.

Splendid said it voluntarily recalled the product “out of an abundance of caution,” after consulting government authorities.

Federal health officials are still investigating what caused the outbreak of 103 cases of salmonella Braenderup infections. U.S. and Canadian authorities are trying to identify which mango brands or sources may have caused the illnesses. No deaths have been reported.

Mexican mangoes recalled over salmonella risk – Hawaii News – Honolulu Star-Advertiser

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, 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.

Exotic-Food Tasting on Hawaii, the Big Island – New York Times

Hilo, Hawaii — CHERIMOYA, calamansi, rainbow papaya. Puna ricotta, poha berries, lilikoi. Lava salsa, dinosaur kale, Hamakua mushrooms. This is the exotic-food litany on the lips of pilgrims who go to the Hilo Farmers Market, held twice a week on the lush eastern side of the Big Island.

Hawaii More Photos »

On a Saturday in mid-December I was in the greedy throng, caressing a cluster of longan, or “dragon eye” fruit; sampling a fresh, made-to-order green papaya salad; sidling up for a whiff of ripe, fragrant mango.

The Big Island, a k a Hawaii, is the biggest agricultural producer in the state. But its farming history is one of immigrant fruit — produce that is itself a pilgrim. Virtually everything that is grown in the Hawaiian islands today is an exotic, brought in from somewhere else by sailors, merchants and contract laborers; pineapple, long seen as Hawaii’s signature fruit, was introduced to the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1813 by Don Francisco de Paula y Marin, a Spanish adviser to King Kamehameha I.

On my December visit I set off in search of unusual agritourism experiences from a recent wave of Big Island farms. Though agricultural production has been geared largely toward industrial export and plantation-scale production over the last century and a half — entire crops of bananas, pineapple, macadamia nuts and sugar cane were shipped overseas, while almost everything else had to be flown in from the mainland — that mindset is shifting.