THE devastating impact of climate change phenomenon has badly damaged orchards across Sindh that produce tonnes of mangoes, the undisputed king of fruits. The unprecedented monsoon of 2022 was the turning point, and, since then, the region has been grappling with the consequences of a shift in weather pattern.

In 2023, mango orchards in both southern as well as northern Sindh were ravaged by increasing diseases, resulting in a staggering 40-50 per cent reduction in mango harvest. The start of 2024 brought unrelenting fog in January, followed by an unusual cold spell. As a result, mango trees took their time producing the fruit.

The subsequent heatwave in March and April, with temperatures soaring to 35-38 degrees Celsius, created an ideal breeding ground for diseases to attack the mango fruit, making all efforts to control the problem futile.

The situation took a turn for the worse after May 6 when temperatures in upper Sindh reached a scorching 50 degrees, as recorded by various meteorological websites. The temperature fluctuations have been nothing short of catastrophic, destroying even the slightly weak mango trees.

Against this backdrop, as we confront the harsh realities of climate change, it is imperative that we take collective action to mitigate its effects on the agriculture sector, particularly the mango orchards. Moreover, policymakers, experts and all other relevant stakeholders should join forces in finding sustainable and effective solutions to this looming crisis.

Dr Abdul Qadeer Memon
Naushahro Feroze

Published in Dawn, June 17th, 2024

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