Pakistan’s mango production is likely to decrease by around 50 percent this year, due to the unusually high temperatures and water shortages, the chief of a growers’ and exporters’ association said.
During this month, the country has been experiencing an extreme heatwave as the temperatures in the south have crossed 50 degrees Celsius. The country had moved from winter to summer without even experiencing a spring, as per the climate change ministry.
Over a billion people are at risk due to the disastrous effects of heat in the county. Scientists have warned, saying the early beginning of the extreme summer has led to climate change.
“The heatwave has affected it (the crop) greatly because the temperature in March was 28, 29°C – but all of a sudden it hit 42,” mentioned Waheed Ahmed, head of the Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA).
He stated the heat during the stage of the flowering of mango trees had adversely affected the production, adding that the country was facing a 50percent drop in mango production this year consequently.
Moreover, Waheed Ahmed said that although the heat ripens the mouthwatering yellow fruit, the premature early rise in temperatures, together with water shortages, have affected the crop badly.
“When the unripened fruit is ready it requires water which helps the mango grow to a good size,” according to a grower and contractor Gul Hassan in Tando Allah Yar. “There is no water in Sindh.”
Pakistan occupies the fifth position in mango production globally after India, China, Thailand, and Indonesia, Ahmed remarked.
In general, the average mango production is approximately 1.8 million tonnes but is expected to be around half that this year, he said, adding the association has reduced its export target by 25,000 tonnes as compared with last year to 125,000 tonnes.