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50pc decline feared in mango production due to global warming

By Our Correspondent
July 02, 2019

MULTAN: Growers have feared 45-50 per cent decline in mango production due to global warming and poor field practices.

However, the Mango Research Institute officials figured out 30pc crop loss due to global warming, change in climate, prolonged winter, late flowering, winds and hailstorms, which played a key role in destroying premature crop of mango. The horticulture experts observed that a substantial decline in mango production in Sindh and Punjab was expected this year. It is being attributed to weather patterns induced by climate change.

An extended winter, unusual summer rains, winds and hailstorms. Agriculture experts observed that the country could see itself drop out of the list as climate change and water scarcity hinder production. The country’s mango was standing after India in taste and production, but now the country was facing decline in mango production for the last few years.

According to a report, Pakistan was the seventh most vulnerable country to global warming and subsequently climate change. Mango Growers Cooperative Society president Syed Zahid Hussain Gardezi said that the recent visit to orchards highlighted that mango crop production might drop to 45pc to 50pc due to increase in production cost in climatic conditions. He said that mango trees hit by diseases after abnormal climatic conditions.

He said that some growers cut their orchards to prefer other crops after increase in production cost, particularly prices of diesel went shoot up. He said that the other countries hadalready started dealing with the global warming issue.

But unfortunately, Pakistan was lagged behind that could imperil the country’s food security, he added. Gardezi said that there was an urgent need for research and policy-making to deal with the issue of climate change.

A mango grower from Jalalpur Pirwala said that winters had been longer for a few years now due to climate change, which had been impacting yield.

Moreover, there were frequent hailstorms and strong winds, which forced production of mangoes to drop, he said. There was water shortage as well, which had adversely affected not only mango production but also agriculture as a whole, he added. Talking to The News, Mango Research Institute Director Dr Hamidullah Khan estimated 30pc crop loss due to unfavorable weather.

He said that temperature rose to 47 degrees in the past weeks, which brought early maturity of crop and badly damaging the quality of fruit. Dr Hamidullah Khan said that Multan district was among the top ranking in production where mangoes were cultivated at 30, 000 hectares with an average yield of 13.38 ton per hectare.

The district had produced 414,000 tons in the past, he told. Rahimyar Khan district stands at second in mango production where mango orchards spread at 24, 000 hectares.