Prolonged heat spells trouble for Faridpur litchi farmers
Faridpur: Despite a bumper yield, litchi farmers are worried about the damage done to the delicious juicy fruit in their fields by the prolonged heat wave for the last few days.
According to sources at the District Agriculture Extension (DAE), this year the litchis were damaged due to prolonged heat wave that bred a drought-like situation for the last several days. Besides, the Cyclone Fani—that hit the country’s coastal areas on May 4 – damaged many litchi orchards.
During a recent visit to the litchi orchards in Madhukhali, Boalmari and Sadar upazilas of the district, this correspondent found that the peels of the litchis were cracked while some were dropped out from the tree. Besides, black spots were also found in the litchis.
Farmers of the district worried whether they will get fair prices or not, reports the UNB.
Not only the male members of the family but also the female and children were seen passing busy time in their litchi orchard in collecting litchis and set those for selling in the local market.
The traders who have bought the whole orchard from the owners are in doubt whether they will be able to recover their investment this time.
Rashedul Islam Babu, a litchi grower of Jahapur in Madhukhali upazila, said they have failed to mantain the quality of litchi after using pesticide, fertilizer and medicine.
Farid Ahmed, a farmer of Kadirdi in Boalmari upazila, said, ‘I’ve brought a vast track of land under litchi cultivation as it is profitable than other crops. Though I’ve got profit by cultivating litchi in the past but this year I’m worried about recovering the capital I invested.’ Shahidul Islam Majnu, chairman of Ishan Gopalpur union in sadar upazila, said at first it seemed that the production of litchi will be better this year but at the end of this season the production of the juicy fruit is declining due to a rise in temperature, and poor rainfall.
Kantik Chandra Chakrawarty, deputy director of Faridpur, DAE, said this year a total of 300 hectares of land have been brought under litchi cultivation with a target of producing eight metric tonnes of litchi from each hectares.
For getting good yield of litchi, the farmers have to use medicine and water the orchard twice a day before harvesting, he said.
He also asked the growers to nurture his or her orchard carefully.
Besides, the litchis of the district are available in Dhaka, Barishal, Munshiganj, Manikganj and other districts.
Shahidul Islam, a litchi trader of Dohar upazila in Dhaka, said the litchi of Faridpur district is delicious and it tastes sweet. It is being harvested one month before the harvesting period and there is a demand of Faridpur litchi among buyers due to its deliciousness.