In a litchi orchard in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur, only half the trees have blossomed this year. The rest have just sprouted new leaves. The farmer blames the water-logged circumstances after the surplus monsoon in 2020 for the poor flowering. That monsoon was then followed by irregularities in this year’s weather as well.
Thousands of litchi farmers in the district known as the ‘land of litchis’ were expecting a bumper harvest this year to make up for losses incurred last year due to the pandemic restrictions. But high temperatures throughout March and heatwaves and hailstorms predicted for April and May has them worried about the quantity and quality of yield.
Downtoearth.org.in reports that the area received 110 cm of rainfall from June through mid-October; a rarity, according to meteorologists. This excess precipitation and resulting waterlogging has hit blossoming this year.
Photo source: Dreamstime.com