Six canines roaming in search of unfamiliar scents and trained to take down the intruder. Four guards assigned to each corner patrolling all night keeping a close watch inside the tall walls separating it from the outer world. Sankalp Singh Parihar did everything to protect his treasure “The Egg of Sun”. Not a fairy tale but this is the security hired by Mr Parihar in Jabalpur of Madhya Pradesh for growing the costliest mango.

Miyazaki Mango, also called Taiyo no Tamago or the “Egg of the Sun” is popular for its succulent taste and exorbitant cost. The price of the fruit went up to Rs 2.70 lakh per kilogram in the international market, last year. So, what makes it so invaluable?

Japan believes in the etiquette of giving gifts as a token of appreciation, where fruits are among the essentials. Miyazaki prefecture, a town in Japan, holds the title of growing the expensive piece of edible art after their name. Like Irwin mangoes from Florida, Miyazaki mangoes are expensive because they are grown under special care in the Miyazaki region. It gets exposure from sun rays from all sides, resulting in a blushed red colour compared to Irwin mangoes that are orange coloured. One mango weighs around 350 grams and is filled with anti-oxidants and beta carotenes and are harvested during the months of April and August. They undergo strict checking on their size, colour and taste before passing the quality standard checks and then are ready to be exported.[1]

The Parihar couple brought Miyazaki Mangoes to India for some saplings while travelling to Chennai. The seller requested Parihar to look after the saplings as their own kids. Being unknown about the breed, Sankalp and Rani Parihar planted it in their Orchard and grew the fruit under the name “Damini” named after Sankalp’s mother.

India holds about 1,500 varieties of mangoes, among which 9 variants hold GI tag. They are Alphonso Mango from Maharashtra, Gir Kesar from Gujarat, Jardalu Mango of Bihar, Laxman Bhog, Himsagar and Fazli Mangoes of West Bengal, Malihabadi Dussheri Mango of Uttar Pradesh, Appemidi Mango from Karnataka and Banaganapalle Mango of Andhra Pradesh.[2]

It is a curious fact that the popular Miyazaki Mango which holds the title of the “costliest Mango” in the World doesn’t hold a GI tag of its own. Without a GI tag, it is difficult for buyers to know if what they have purchased is really this expensive mango variant or a smart substitute. With a GI tag, the seller can enforce their legal rights if someone passes off a lesser variety of mango as the much-cherished Miyazaki.


Mrudula Manappatt

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[1] Geographical Indication(GI) protection system : MAFF

[2] Registered Gls – Intellectual Property India