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National

May 10, 2018

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Water scarcity in Sindh may damage mango crop worth billions

KARACHI: Water scarcity is Sindh is most likely to damage mango crop yield worth billions of rupee. Fruit farmers and agriculturists say at least 60 per cent of mango crop has been damaged in the province. Due to lack of irrigation this year, mango tree branches are too weak to bear the weight of the growing fruit.

Sindh farmers have demanded the government provide them water for irrigation by closing the Flood Canal. People attached with the field say that non-provision of its share of canal water to Sindh by the centre is damaging other fruit crops including banana also besides the mango crop. Experts say if sufficient irrigation water is not provided to Sindh farmers for almost ready to be picked fruit crops many fruits would not be available in less quantity in the holy month of Ramazan. As the fruit demand increases in the fasting month, less supply would cause unusual increase in prices of the commodity. The situation is most likely to reduce the volume of fruit exports by 60 per cent, warned the experts.

Faisal Kachelo, the owner of a big fruit farm in Mirpur Khas, told the reporter that due to gross mismanagement and corruption in the Irrigation Department, canal water is not being supplied to fruit farmers in an organised and judicious manner. He said the mango orchards have been irrigated only once during the last four months, though the crop needed at least four watering during that period. He said there was no irrigation minister in the province, which was causing severe problems for farmers.

Market Committee Vice Chairman Asif Ahmad said the mango crop contractors have cancelled 40pc of orchard contracts for fear of losses. He said the province was experiencing such a water crisis after 25 years. The most affected districts due to water shortage include Mirpur Khas, Sanghar and Badin.

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