Re: Alternatives to acetylene gas in mango production

Jennifer Abel writes:

 >Colleagues of mine in Senegal, West Africa, were recently contacted by
 >women's mango growing cooperative which is looking for alternatives to 
 >the acetylene gas they spray on mangoes to make them ripen quicker. The

 >women have long recognized the effects this gas has on their
 >of them get headaches and nausea after applying it--but feel that not 
 >spraying would mean economic ruin for them and their community.....

 >However the women are determined to find an alternative to the gas for
 >health of themselves, their children and people who buy the mangoes.
 >are considering multiple options and are looking for either:
 >1. A substitute for the gas;
 >2. Ways to pick the mangoes and preserve them until they ripen
 >3. Techniques for processing the mangoes into value-added products like

 >juices or jams.

  Here in Puerto Rico mangos grow wild all over the island.  Ther is some
commercial trees grown and commercial production of juice, paste, and jam
from these and from the wild trees as well.  We have five large producing
trees on our property and my wife makes her own jam and paste.  But the
commercial sources are there and we occasionally buy small quantities,
especially in the off season and our private supply has been exhausted.

  One company that processes many different local products, including
mangos is Goya de Puerto Rico.  They are located in Bayamon, PR 00960 and
may have offices in New york.  You might try seeing if they have a home
page on the web, or you could look at the University of Puerto Rico pages
on the web for more information.  If you have trouble contacting them,
drop me a note in my private mail box and I will try to provide more

  There are other products made from mango juice and the pulp of the
fruit, but I can't recall any off the top of my head.  But I am sure the
women's coop could produce one or more products with a slightly higher
cost than the gas (plus a bit more labor) and have a value added product
that would bring much more income once it becomes known.  Startup risks
of course are the same as any other commercial enterprise.

--Dan in Sunny Puerto Rico--