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Bangladesh: Drought dashes hopes of Kushtia lychee growers

This lychee season could well turn out to be disappointing, at least for the growers in Kushtia's Khoksha county, because of the high temperatures and the current drought. A number of lychee farmers in the county’s villages have stated that they had high hopes of a bumper crop this summer, a projection based on the healthy flowering of the fruit three-four months ago.

But the cultivators said that unfavourable weather had shattered their hopes. They said it would be really difficult for them to break even this year.

The owner of a lychee farm in Gopgram said: “A couple of years back, I brought around 20 bighas of land under lychee cultivation. Currently, there are 500 trees in my orchard. But high temperature and inadequate rains have prompted the damage of fruits."

Another grower said: “[…]the unfavourable weather led to cracks on fruits and their subsequent dropping from trees. I am staring at huge losses this year. The owner of the orchard is also reluctant to return the money.”

According to the District Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), 103 hectares of land were brought under lychee cultivation this year in Kushtia. Sabuj Kumar Shaha of Khoksha Upazila Agriculture Office, said, “Unfavourable weather may hit a handful of lychee growers in some villages this year, but the production of the fruit in other parts of the county is likely to exceed the target set by the authorities concerned.”


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