Nor'westers, Moha disease affect Rajshahi, C'nawabganj dists' mango production
Although the overall mango production is likely to be good in the northern region, the production in Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj districts may be hampered by unfavourable weather this year.
The farmers in the two districts are concerned as a large number of green mangoes have been torn from the trees by the recent nor'westers and hailstorms.
The unfavourable weather follows the earlier attack by leaf hoppers which had caused many green mangoes to fall before ripening properly.
Farmers told the news agency that the dropping of green mangoes would reduce production, particularly in the two districts.
Dr Alim Uddin, principal scientific officer of Fruit Research Station, agreed that the production of mangoes would be slightly less than expected, but not considerably because mango trees remain unaffected by bad weather in many other parts of the region.
“Mango production will not be satisfactory in my area this year as almost 70 percent of the fruits fell from the trees before ripening,” said Nurul Islam, a farmer from Shibganj upazila in Chapainawabganj.
He said mango trees in his area had initially blossomed well, but many of the mangoes had become victims of the attack by leaf hoppers caused by sultry weather from March 15 to 30. “We are cursed with Moha this year,” said Nurul.
Horticulturists explained that Moha is a kind of disease that appears in the form of mould on leaves. It happens especially when the mist shrouds the nature during summer nights, another change in the weather pattern.
They said adequate rainfall could save mango trees from this kind of diseases. The mango growers of Chapainawabganj and Rajshahi are worried as the number of trees bearing fruits is inadequate.
The farmer said they generally used insecticides once a season but they were forced to apply it three times this year, but there was no impact.
Shariful Islam, a mango trader of Lalbag village in Godagari upazila, said mango production was likely to suffer a setback this year due to unfavourable weather.
The annual average mango production is about five lakh tonnes from over 45,000 hectares of land in eight districts under Rajshahi division including Chapainwabganj where mango grows on 22,000 hectares of land while it is about 8,500 hectares in Rajshahi.
The unexpected sultry weather due to change in climate caused mangoes to drop prematurely, said agriculturist Dr Saifur Rahman.
Most mango growers in the two mango producing districts have used pesticides and other chemicals at least 20 times for “protection and better yield”.
Excessive use of toxic chemicals in the country's mango producing zone is posing a serious threat to public health as well as to environment and wildlife.