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Drought affects litchi and mango production in Pabna, Bangladesh

In Pabna's Ishwardi subdistrict, Bangladesh, known for its litchi cultivation, farmers are facing challenges due to severe drought and intense heat. The adverse weather conditions have led to the falling off of litchi and mango pods from trees, threatening this season's fruit production targets. Despite efforts to mitigate the damage through watering, the persistence of dry conditions has rendered such measures ineffective.

Historically, Ishwardi has seen abundant litchi and mango pod production, with this year initially showing promise of a good yield due to a record number of buds. However, the continuous hot weather over the past weeks has resulted in a significant number of pods falling, diminishing hopes for a successful harvest. The situation is exacerbated by the rising costs of water and pesticides, placing additional financial burdens on farmers.

Agriculture officials in Pabna have acknowledged the impact of the drought on fruit production, with the Department of Agricultural Extension providing guidance to farmers on mitigating pod fall. Despite these efforts, the current weather conditions, including a record high temperature of 40.6 degrees Celsius in the region, suggest that achieving production targets for litchi and mangoes will be challenging this year.

Deputy Director of the Department of Agricultural Extension, Pabna, Dr Md Jamal Uddin: "There are 4,721 hectares of litchi orchards in Pabna district and the production target was set at 37,768 tonnes. Mango orchards are on 2,730 hectares and the production target is 40,900 tonnes. Appropriate advice is being given to the farmers to retain the mango and litchi pods."


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