Mango production may face decline this season due to rising temperatures

FAISALABAD   -   Pakistan’s mango harvest may face a decline this season due to rising temperatures and a lack of rainfall, according to the Mango Research Institute (MRI) Faisalabad. A spokesperson for MRI revealed that Pakistan cultivates mangoes on 1.75 lakh hectares (1 lakh 75 thousand 308 acres) of land, with Punjab contributing the lion’s share at 1.14 lakh hectares (1 lakh 14 thousand 432 acres). The country’s annual mango production stands at 2 million metric tons, with Punjab producing 1.3 million metric tons. Pakistan currently holds the 7th position globally in terms of mango cultivation area. The spokesperson expressed concern about the impact of extreme weather conditions on the fruit’s development. The ideal temperature range for optimal mango flowering is between 13 and 30 degrees Celsius during the first fortnight of March. However, this year, temperatures soared above 40 degrees Celsius during that critical period. The institute advocates specific measures for mango cultivators. They advise against using rotavators, plows, or similar equipment to maintain moisture levels in orchards, crucial for optimal mango growth. Additionally, MRI recommends implementing shorter irrigation intervals, ideally every 10-12 days, while emphasizing weekly watering schedules for young mango trees. Pest management emerges as a priority, with drought conditions heightening orchards’ susceptibility to thrips and mites. In case of infestation, growers are urged to seek guidance from local agronomists for effective solutions. Furthermore, to bolster natural immunity, MRI advises refraining from cutting grass and plants during summer months. Supplementing this, a 1 to 2 percent solution of soluble potash can be sprayed to fortify plant resilience against adverse environmental factors.

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