Farmer Hires Security After Accidentally Growing World's Most Expensive Mango

It's a fact of life that stymies many private collectors, but it's nonetheless true that we never really know what will be worth a lot of money one day.

Those who insisted this was true about their Pokémon cards may be having their moment in the sun, but there are so many other commodities out there that are immensely valuable yet would never seem that way.

And while the classic example of this phenomenon is ambergris, one farmer in India now finds himself with a crop of similarly valuable, but far less gross money-makers.

Back in 2017, a farmer in Jabalpur, India named Sankalp Singh Parihar found himself looking for some hybrid coconut seeds.

But as he told Vice, when he rode the train to Chennai to get his hands on some, another passenger talked him into buying what he claimed was a special mango sapling for 2,500 rupees (or $33).

In his words, "I grew it like an ordinary mango plant, but a few months later, saw that it had developed a beautiful red color."

And that distinct red shade was a sign that he had accidentally bought and grown the world's most expensive mango variety.

Specifically, we're talking about "Egg of the Sun" mangoes, which are grown in Japan's Miyazaki prefecture.

According to Atlas Obscura, these mangoes are carefully grown with a small net surrounding each one. This allows them to simply fall off the tree when they're ripe and ensures that sunlight can evenly hit the mangoes and give them their trademark red hue.

Due to their delectable sweetness and melt-in-your-mouth texture, these mangoes are typically sold for at least $50 each and one auction even saw two of them sell for $3,744.

But despite how much money they could get for them, Parihar and his wife Rani have no plans to sell the 52 mangoes they've grown so far.

As he put it, "These are our babies and our focus right now is to keep nurturing them and using the fruits’ seeds to plant new ones."

Because he discovered that these mangoes could grow in India without needing the special care they receive in Japan, his ultimate goal is to make the fruit more accessible to Indian farmers once he fills his own orchard with them.

In his words, "My vision is that every Indian household should be able to afford this mango."

But in the time since his story has spread in India, he's needed to hire a security team consisting of three men and nine dogs to guard his mangoes.

As Parihar said, "Last year, after a local news channel reported that we had these mangoes, a thief broke in and stole 14 mangoes. So now, we have hired a team of guards and pay them Rs 8,000 ($108) every month."

But while that situation might encourage some to sell their stock as quickly as possible, Parihar is committed to his vision for the mangoes.

In his words, "I would rather pay for security than lose these mangoes, which to us are worth so much more than money."

h/t: Vice

Filed Under: