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Advisory for Mango farmers

FAISALABAD: Agriculture experts advised mango growers to ensure watering of orchards on weekly basis to save plants from hot weather.

A spokesman for the agriculture department said on Monday that mango was a precious produce of the country as Pakistan was placed at the seventh among mango producing countries of the world.

He said mango orchards were cultivated over 172,308 acres of land, including 111,432 acres land in Punjab.

The total mango production in the country was 2 million metric tons while Punjab
shared about 1.3 million metric tons.

He said weather temperature started rising speedily in March while humidity also remained
very low in the air which was affecting mango fruits badly.

He said that normally, 13 to 30 degrees centigrade temperature was required for proper blossom of mango trees but there was 40 degrees centigrade temperature was recorded when mango plants started blooming.

This harsh weather condition badly affected the mango plants and their fruits.

Therefore, farmers should remain cautious to save their fruits in the harsh weather, he said and advised to water small mango plants after every week whereas this duration can be increased up to 10 days if mango orchards had big trees.

The growers should use pesticides with consultation of horticulture experts to protect mango plants from pest attacks.

The farmers should avoid from removing grass from mango orchards and trimming trees during summers, rather they should use soluble potash to increase immunity of plants to fight against severity of the sizzling weather, he added.

Mango production declined by nearly 60 percent in the ongoing season due to climate change and lack of resources including closure of canals, electricity load-shedding, diesel shortage at very crucial time for the crop.

Severe temperature variation from March 11 to March 17 from 37 degree centigrade to 42 degrees centigrade, contrary to 34 degree centigrade routine temperature in previous years, affected the mango fruit to a greater extent, said Director Mango Research Institute MRI Abdul Ghaffar Garewal on Sunday (15th of May, 2022).

Similarly, the temperature in April also remained high, compared to previous years and it also aggravated problems for the growers the mango production plummeted by nearly 60 percent as the flowering stage could not bear the severity of weather.

Besides climate changes, some other factors also damaged the mangoes production. He stated that growers could not irrigate mango orchards at time of fruiting due to shortage of canal water, electricity load-shedding and diesel shortage. The growers could not operate their tube-wells due to power outage.

A farmer expressing concern on low production of mangoes maintained that climate change was one of the important factors. Moreover, due the recent political vicissitudes concerned bureaucrats were not able to focus on the issues faced y mango growers.

The growers who owned electricity tube-wells, could not irrigate orchard at very important time due to electricity load-shedding. The mango flowers could not bear harsh weather condition and fell down.

A good number of growers have diesel operated tube-wells also. Similarly, due to the fuel shortage, they faced the same complication and could not irrigate the orchards.

In past, there had been one to two rains. However, there were no rains. The rainy water is of vital importance for mango plants at flowering stage.

To a question about suggestions to avoid further losses, the Director MRI Abdul Ghaffar Garewal suggested growers to spray the plants with water as it will help maintaining health of the plants.

During the ongoing month of May, the temperature increased to nearly 49 to 50 degrees centigrade in the orchards especially at noon. Apart from this, the growers should be highly vigilant against the pest attacks also. It could also affect production by damaging fruit quality.

Growers are advised to keep irrigating the orchards regularly in order to avoid further losses and improve mangoes production. | YouTube Channel

Ammar Ahmed

Karachi-based Ammar Ahmed, who studied Law, writes on a number of subjects mostly international politics and crime.