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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Prolonged heatwave, drought threaten lychee production in Pabna

  • Farmers are suggested to spray water on upper side of the lychee trees
  • 50% of buds have fallen due to the heavy rains in Chaitra
Update : 27 Apr 2024, 03:13 PM

The ongoing heatwave and drought have posed a serious threat to the production of lychee, a mouth-watering summer fruit, in Pabna district.

Pabna’s Iswardi upazila is known as one of the leading lychee production zones in the country. But this year, farmers and traders are fearing losses as small lychee pods are falling from the trees due to the prevailing heat wave.

At the beginning of this season, lychee farmers had expected a bumper production of lychee but 50% of buds had fallen due to the heavy rains with hails in the middle of Chaitra (Bangla) month.

On the other hand, due to the extreme heat at the beginning of summer, a large part of the lychee pods are now falling.

If the summer heat continues, the lychee farmers have to count a huge loss this year.

Besides, the wholesale traders who had bought the orchards with the sprouting of trees have become worried over possible losses this season.

According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), this year, a total of 4,721 hectares of land have been brought under lychee cultivation and among these, 3,150 hectares are in Ishwardi upazila of the district.

They also set a target to produce 48,801 metric tons of lychee this year.

During a recent visit to some lychee orchards, the UNB correspondent found that at the beginning of the month of Falgun, there were enough buds coming in each lychee tree. Seeing a lot of buds on trees, the traders bought the orchards at a higher price in advance.

But due to the ongoing drought and untimely rains with hailstorm at the end of Chaitra, most of the buds have been damaged.

Mirajul Sheikh, a lychee grower of Ishwardi upazila, said about 40-50% lychee buds were destroyed during hailstorm but now a large portion of lychee pods are dropping due to the prevailing heat wave.

Manirul, a trader, said he had bought a lychee orchard at a cost of Tk25 lakh but he is too frustrated. He is now doubtful whether he will be able to sell lychee worth Tk10 lakh.

Though the DAE officials suggested the farmers to spray water and continue irrigation but farmers said it is not possible to spray water in vast tract of land that was brought under lychee cultivation.

However, the DAE officials are still expecting bumper production this year.

Sheikh Mehedi, a lychee grower and trader, said the biggest economic activity of the farmers of Ishwardi upazila depends on lychee production. Farmers of the upazila will be severely affected if they do not get expected output.

Jamal Uddin, deputy director of Pabna DAE, said this year, lychee trees saw profuse flowering and if lychee comes from half of those it will be huge.

However, some lychee are being damaged due to drought and the current heatwave.

Farmers are being suggested to spray water on the upper side of the lychee trees and irrigate the lands, he added.

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