Magura: Litchi farmers of Magura are worried about low yield, as they have been facing a drought-like situation due to the scorching heat and lack of rain.
Litchis grown in 20 villages, including Hazrapur, Mithapur, Hazipur, Raghabdair, Shibrampur, and Mirzapur, are famed for their sweetness.
Traders from different parts of the country purchase litchi from Magura district, supplying it nationwide.
Litchi trees start blooming by the end of March and the time between flowering and fruit formation is very important as yields are dependent on the care given in this duration.
But this year, the litchi pods are dropping off due to the drought-like situation.
A litchi farmer in Mirzapur village under Sadar upazila, said, “I have 400 litchi trees in my orchard and I kept nurturing them when the trees started blooming. The usual care is being given to ensure the pods are ok.”
He also claimed that 40 percent of litchi pods have fallen from the trees and now he is trying to protect the rest by spraying water, as per advice from the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE).
“Every year, I sell litchis worth Tk 8 lakh, but this year, I might be able to sell litchis worth Tk 4-5 lakh if weather improves,” said Raza.
Another harvester said, “I have ten litchi orchards and due to the drought-like conditions, most of the litchi pods are falling from trees. I failed to spray water regularly in my orchards due to lack of water in the adjacent canal.”
He also feared losing all litchi pods if there was not enough water.
This year, temperatures are going over 41 degree Celsius, which is damaging litchi production.
Sufi Md Rafiquzzaman, deputy director of Magura’s Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), said the litchi of Magura is quite popular, and is supplied to other districts after meeting local demand.
This year, a total of 640 hectares of land have been brought under litchi cultivation and different varieties including China, Mozaffar, Bombay and Hazrapuri litchi are being grown in the district.
Litchi growers have earned Tk 10 crore every year, he said. But this year, the farmers are afraid of poor yield due to lack of rain and extreme heat, he added.
“We have already asked the litchi farmers to spray water on the trees and if the root of the trees remain wet then there is a possibility of high yield,” said Rafiquzzaman.