Farmers are afraid that mango production in Pakistan could decline by 45-50% due to global warming and other factors.
On the other hand, officials at the Mango Research Institute have estimated a 30% decline. They cite global warming, climate change, long winters, delayed flowering, wind, and hailstorms as the key reasons for lower mango yields.
In any case, whether the farmers or the research institute is right, a massive decline in mango production in Sindh and Punjab is expected.
Rising Production Costs
A recent study has placed Pakistan seventh on the list of most vulnerable countries from global warming and climate change. Syed Zahid Hussain Gardezi, President of Mango Growers Cooperative Society, said that mango production might fall by 45-50% as indicated by recent visits to orchards and this was due to a rise in the cost of production in harsh climatic conditions. He further added that the trees had been affected by diseases as well.
Gardezi added that various growers are converting their mango orchards to farm other crops due to the increase in the cost of production. He also said that other countries have started taking necessary steps against global warming while Pakistan has been left behind and this could impact the country’s food security. He said that it is critical to deal with climate change with relevant research and policymaking.
Effects of Climate Change
A mango grower from Jalalpur Pirwala said that due to climate change, the winters have been getting longer these past few years, which has affected production. Another factor for the drop in production has been strong winds and frequent hailstorms.
Dr. Hamidullah Khan, Director at Mango Research Institute has estimated the production to decline by 30% due to weather. He said that in the past weeks the temperature rose to 47 degrees, which led to early maturity of the crop and affected its quality.
He added that Multan topped in at mango production with over 30,000 hectares being cultivated at an average yield of 13.38 tons per hectare and in the past it produced 414,000 tons. Rahimyar Khan came in second with the cultivation of over 24,000 hectares.