Background

                       Mango, the king of tropical fruits, attracts avid feeders from the world over. Its delicious taste that comes in numerous flavors, its attractive color that comes in numerous shades, and its fabulous nutrition that comes in numerous dishes are the reason for its popularity. No wonder,India chose it as its national fruit! But it is also national fruit of Philippines, Pakistan and national tree of Bangladesh. Mango is cultivated in several tropical countries of Asia, Africa and the Americas. India leads in area under cultivation and production contributing around 40 per cent in both. However, unlike many other crops, mango comes in an unrivalled number of varieties. This, in turn, affords greater opportunities for continuous experimentation to improve the commercial varieties. These varietal improvement efforts are now oriented towards mitigating the effects of climate change on the growth and yield along with quality enhancement. Mango-growing countries are facing the vagaries of climate change and its effects are clearly visible in physical and physiological aberrations especially flowering. Coupled with increased pest and disease incidences, present situation poses major challenges for mango growers and researchers.
                         Apart from traditional cultivation practices, emerging avenues in canopy management and high-density plantation, integration with other farm components for additional benefits need to be explored for sustained mango farming. Mango, contrary to common belief, provides opportunities for conservation agriculture (CA) through its peculiar orchard structure and management helping in preservation of natural resources. Cost of production can also be reduced by following CA practices in mango orchards with special reference to the hilly and undulating terrain in the coastal areas. Intercropping, minimum tillage operations and other techniques of CA seem appropriate to boost mango productivity leading to economic freedom of the farmers. Further, mechanization for maintenance of orchards and harvesting of fruits needs to be taken further to reduce cost of cultivation. On the other hand, there is immense scope for post-harvest value addition and diversification of products. Advanced technologies including artificial intelligence and nano-technology need to be harnessed for bringing efficiency in these value-chains. Although global mangomarket is growing, the farmers, traders, processors and exporters need to be in a state of readiness to adapt newer regulations, destinations and opportunities. In the Indian context, mango can be one of the fastest growth-engines for the Government's ambitious programme of Doubling Farmers' Income (DFI). For this, however, the technology needs to reach for lab to land through non-conventional and modern communication channels.
             To create once such interface between growers, industry and research institutions, Interdisciplinary Society for Advancement of Agricultural Sciences & Technology (ISASaT; www.isasat.org) is organizing International Mango conference (IMC-2018; www.mangoic2018.org) during 8-10 May, 2018 in collaboration with Dr. Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth (DBSKKV), Dapoli. DBSKKV, Dapoli - one of the State Agricultural Universities of Maharashtra (India) - caters to the agricultural research, education and extension requirements of the state's coastal region better known as Konkan. ISASaT is a scientific outreach society recently established under the aegis of DBSKKV, Dapoli and publishes peer-reviewed research articles in its open-access journal namely Advanced Agricultural Research & Technology Journal (AARJ; www.isasat.org) Konkan region is distinguished from the rest of Maharashtra state by virtue of its distinct agroclimatic conditions, soil types, and topography. It is also one of the major mango growing belts in India. It produces the world's best quality Alphonso mango acclaimed to be exquisite and unique in terms of taste, flavor and appearance. Traditional and modern cultivation of Alphonso on the hill slopes and lateritic rocks are some of the unique features of mango cultivation in Konkan region. The region has witnessed a mango-revolution through multifold increase in area under mango and production during the last two decades. IMC-2018 (www.mangoic2018.org) is conceptualized to promote and encourage research and education in mango cultivation and to facilitate cooperation and knowledge transfer on a global scale. The Organizing Committee is expecting to bring together the world's leading mango scientists, cultivators and traders across a number of disciplines and researchers and students from all mango-growing nations.