Mango yield in Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj blighted

Mango yield in Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj blighted

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Mango farmers and traders in various parts of the region are concerned by the large number of green mangoes that have been torn from the trees by the recent nor’westers and hailstorms.The unfavourable weather follows the earlier attack by leaf hoppers which had caused many green mangoes to fall before ripening properly.Mango farmers told BSS that the dropping of green mangoes from trees would reduce production, particularly in the mango growing districts like Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj.Dr Alim Uddin, Principal Scientific Officer of Fruit Research Station, agreed that the production of mangoes would be slightly less than expected, but not considerably because mango trees remain unaffected by bad weather in many other parts of the region.“Mango production will not be satisfactory in my area this year as almost 70 percent of the fruits fell from the trees before ripening,” said Nurul Islam, a farmer from Shibganj upazila under Chapainawabganj district.He said that mango trees in his area had initially blossomed well, but many of the mangoes have become victims of the attack by leaf hoppers caused by sultry weather from March 15 to 30.Mango growers in Chapainawabganj think these are the impacts of climate change. “We are cursed with Moha this year”, said 46-year-old mango grower Nurul Islam.Horticulturists explained that Moha is a kind of disease that appears in the form of mould on leaves. It happens especially when the mist shrouds the nature during summer nights, another change in the weather pattern.They said that adequate rainfall could save mango trees from this kind of diseases. The mango growers of Chapainawabganj and Rajshahi are worried as the number of trees bearing fruits is inadequate.He said that they generally use insecticides once a season but they were forced to apply it three times this year, but it did not had any impact.Another 40 percent has dropped during the recent nor’wester and hailstorm. Shariful Islam, a mango trader of Lalbag village under Godagari Upazila, said mango production is likely to suffer a setback this year due to unfavorable weather.The annual average mango production is about five lakh tonnes from over 45,000 hectares of land in eight districts under Rajshahi division including the mango capital Chapainwabganj where mango grows on 22,000 hectares of land while it is about 8,500 hectares in Rajshahi.The unexpected sultry weather due to change in climate caused mangoes to immature dropping, said agriculturist Dr Saifur Rahman adding, “It eventually affects the expected yield of mangoes.”Most mango growers in the two mango producing districts are using pesticides and other chemicals at least 20 times for ‘protection and better yield’ against experts’ suggestion for three times use.Excessive use of toxic chemicals in the country’s mango producing zone is posing a serious threat to public health as well as to environment and wildlife.
“We suggest using pesticides only three times after flowering, when fruits take the size of grams and then at its marble-size,” Dr Jamir Uddin, Senior Scientific Officer of Regional Fruit Research Center in Chapainwabganj, said.
If pesticides are applied on fruits, it must not be consumed within 15 days, he said. -BSS, Rajshahi

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