Featured, People

3 Minute Mango Expertise: Noris Ledesma

July 8, 2024

Risk & Reward: “Who is going to take the risk, who is going to make the changes”

This season is a wake up call according to my guest this week!

I love unraveling ideas and sharing information. This Summer Mango Mania season, I’m excited to introduce 3 Minute Mango Expertise. Each 3-minute video features interviews with mango experts, covering the supply chain from orchard to table. Blog posts and full-length videos provide more details. This series aims to clarify the supply chain and expand knowledge, aligning with my mango blog’s motto – Under my mango tree, all is shared…..

This week’s guest, renowned Dr. Noris Ledesma,  emphasizes the importance of sharing information and collaboration. She knows firsthand the many challenges ahead and agrees that working together is the best path forward. She highlights her work with a diversity of cultivars and reminds us that tropical varieties, like the Ataulfo, fared best during the serious blooming issues throughout Latin America this season, which led to dismal numbers in output, she notes that without change, this is the future.

I have been eager to meet Norris for some time. I interviewed her while she was on assignment in Saudi Arabia. She graciously woke up in the middle of the night for our Zoom call. She is smart, thoughtful, clever, gracious and gregarious, and I was thrilled to be invited closer to her wisdom and into this lively discussion. The discussion takeaway for me is close to my own sentiments……complacency is not an option if we want to keep the successful momentum going with mangoes!

Dr. Noris Ledesma is a horticulturist specialist in tropical fruits, internationally recognized for her work with Mangifera species and mango cultivars. Her work experience spans Latin America, Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Africa, India, Oman, and Saudi Arabia. She currently works as a consultant with the mango industry in Peru, the USA, Mexico, and the Middle East. Her work includes collecting Mangifera species and their contributions to the people of Borneo. Her ongoing research involves creating interspecific hybrids between Mangifera indica and selected species. Dr. Ledesma aims to develop a perfect mango variety that combines tree dwarfness, attractive color, good quality fruit, and disease tolerance for new sustainable and organic crops and production systems. She is a serious mango lover and believes in the deep connections and joy mangoes bring. She was born in Columbia and lives and works from South Florida, sharing her knowledge through lectures and volunteer work.

There are so many takeaways from this conversation; I highly recommend listening to it in its entirety. We cover water shortages, lack of irrigation in much of southern Mexico, high temperatures, blooming challenges, risk, ultra-tropical varieties like Mallika and Nam Doc Mai, and culinary education—we literally cover it all in this discussion. She not only speaks highly of the resilience of certain mango cultivars amidst climate change and emphasizes the importance of this strength and resilience, but also discusses the numerous opportunities Mexico has due to its proximity to the U.S. market. She underscores the necessity of taking more risks and getting more technical expertise to the farms for the survival of the industry.

I am enamored with her brilliance and her generosity.

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