About 2 metric tons of buds have been damaged due to the storm
Mango farmers in Rajshahi said they fear losses this year as the buds of the fruits have been severely damaged in a recent hailstorm.
According to sources, the storm went through Rajshahi city and the surrounding area between 2:30pm and 3:30pm on Sunday.
No casualties were reported in the storm, however, it caused severe damage to crops in rural areas and caused many mango buds to fall from trees. It also caused severe dust storms in the city.
According to the Department of Agricultural Extension, mango has been cultivated on 8,368 hectares of land in Charghat upazila this year. About 2 metric tons of buds have been damaged due to the storm.
Mango farmer Anwar Hossain said: “I have to incur a huge loss this year because of how many mango buds were blown out of trees.”
Rashid, another farmer, echoed the same sentiment.
Mango farmers of the district also said fewer mango buds had sprouted this year to begin with, and the storm has made matters worse
Palash Kumar Pramanik, a mango farmer of Jotkartik village under Charghat upazila, said he has been cultivating mango on 25-bighas of land for 10-years. Flowering usually starts before the storm season but the storms have arrived earlier this time, while many buds were still sprouting.
Umme Salma, deputy director of the Rajshahi Agriculture Office, said the weather was favourable during the mango flowering period, but heavy rainfall and storms just after flowering may hamper mango production in the district.
“This kind of weather is not unusual around this time, but severe rain and storms may still hamper production,” she added.
According to the Rajshahi Meteorological Office, the wind speed of the storm was about 65km per hour, though faster in some places. Several sign boards were torn off and electrical connections severed.