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.