Carnarvon, with a moderate, tropical climate and an abundance of ground water is the perfect location for growing mangoes and it is the second most important fruit, behind bananas , to be grown commercially in Carnarvon. The Carnarvon mango plantations use a sprinkler system for irrigation from water extracted from the underground aquifers in the Gascoyne River .
Mango picking season starts in January with fresh juicy mangoes trucked south to Perth.
The most commonly grown mango in Carnarvon is Kensington Pride accounting for nearly 90% of all crops. The harvest season for mangoes in Carnarvon is between late December and early February and each season produces on average 1300 tonnes. Other production regions in Western Australia are in Gin Gin and Kununurra.
Australia produces an estimated 62,300 tonnes of mangoes which includes 48,700 tonnes of fresh produce and 13,600 of processed. The largest producers of mangoes is India with an estimated production of 24 million tonnes, accounting for between 50-60% of the annual world production. Other leading countries are China (3 million tonnes), Thailand (1.7 million tonnes), Mexico (1.5 million tonnes) and Pakistan (1 million tonnes).
History of Mangoes In Australia
The Kensington Mango was established in Australia when a Queensland customs officer obtained some seeds from a sailor in the late 1800’s. He planted them on his property and a few years later, after having relative success, gave some of his better producing stock seeds to a friend, Mr McDonald. From McDonald’s stock another local farmer Harry Lott, selected seeds from the more “stringless” of producing fruit.
Here is where the name evolved. Harry planted the seeds in his orchard which was named “Kensington” in the late 1880’s. It wasn’t long before Harry had the best mangoes . They became extremely popular because they were far less stringy. These large bright orange fruits became highly sort after and Harry did his best to keep the stock to himself. Unfortunately for him it wasn’t long before other growers got their hands on his seeds, any which way they could. Some farmers even went to some unfair means to obtain them! Soon the Bowen and Burdekin regions of Queensland were growing what became known as the Kensington Pride mango. Today they are the most popular variety of mango grown in Australia thanks to a sailor and a adventurous customs officer.