Saturday, 3 June, 2023

Drought may hit mango production in Natore

Drought may hit mango production in Natore

NATORE: Juicy mango, the king of all fruits yield drop as drought hits in Natore. Farmers are estimating that the yield could be much lower than the average due to scanty rainfall.

Due to the excessive drought and lack of rain in the season, mango pulps are falling in the mango orchards of Lalpur upazila in Natore district. Irrigation, fertilisers and pesticides can not be prevented by anything. As a result, mango farmers and traders in this region are worried about mangoes.

Mango traders have said that the price of mangoes will increase due to the failure of mango yield. Many mango traders including Nazmul Hossain say that in the last few years, many varieties of mango orchards have been developed in this region, but since the mangoes did not get the desired price for the last two years, the traders had to buy mango orchards and face continuous losses. After this, there is some light of hope as about 70 percent of the buds have come in the mango orchards, but due to lack of rain and intense heat wave, all the mangoes are falling from the trees. As a result, there is a risk of mango losses again.

Mango farmer Mustafa Kawsar said that all the mango pods are falling due to lack of rain and severe drought at the beginning of the season. The garden which used to have 20 mangoes will now not even have 2 mangoes. He said that the loss will have to be calculated by selling the mangoes.

Rafiqul Islam, a mango farmer, said that there are different kinds of mango orchards in his 4 bigha lands. Due to unfavorable weather conditions, mango pods are falling. Irrigation, fertiliser and insecticides can not be used to make mango pods dry. And if such unfavorable weather prevails for a few days, all the mangoes in the garden will fall. We have been making losses for the past few years. Many mango farmers have already cut down their mango orchards due to continuous losses.

Lalpur Upazila Agriculture Office says, “Lalpur Upazila has 1805 hectares of land with different varieties of mango orchards. In the current season, 70 percent of mango orchards have budded. The agriculture department has set a target of about 27 thousand 150 tonnes of mango production from all these lands. However, mango farmers and traders said that this target set by the agriculture department will not be met.

Lalpur Upazila Agriculture Officer Rafiqul Islam said, “Due to adverse weather conditions, the yield of mangoes may be less. However, it is suggested by the agriculture department to regularly irrigate mango orchards and spray water on small mango trees at the farmer level. This official also said that if it rains, the shedding of mangoes will stop.

Immature mangoes (pulps) are falling off trees across the district due to prolonged drought even though the farmers have been trying to control the damage by spraying water on mango trees.

According to farmers, mangoes are grown prematurely for lack of water in Natore, the leading producer of the popular fruit.

They said severe moisture stress has affected most orchards in the district affecting the quality and yield of the juicy fruit this season.

While talking to the correspondent, the farmers are estimating that the yield could be much lower than the average due to scanty rainfall.

The March-April period is the peak time when the fruit grows out from buds to a sizable shape before ripening, but this year the country is witnessing lower rainfall everywhere, they said.

As a result, fruit-fall continues as the buds are getting dried for lack of water.

However, farmers have been advised to irrigate the roots of trees as much as possible, DAE official added.

Hundreds of delicious varieties of the juicy fruit, including Gopalbhog, Khirsapat, Langra and Fazli, are produced in orchards stretched from Lalpur upazila.