Pabna farmers worried of poor output, sale of litchi
PABNA. May 8: Immature litchis are dropping down in Ishwardi Upazila of the district due to drought.
Growers are worrying as, due to drought, maturing fruits are bursting and falling down ultimately; the remaining fruits are not growing up in size.
Meanwhile, due to lockdown, Ishwardi litchi farmers cannot sell their litchi trees to Mahajans (money lenders) of different districts of the country including Dhaka.
Upazila Additional Agriculture Officer Mita Sarkar said, Ishwardi is one of the largest litchi cultivation areas of the country; growers will not be able to get expected output of litchi because of the scorching drought.
Farmers think, litchi can fall because of excessive application of fertiliser and insecticide. She urged the farmers not to use these without advice.
Aynal Hossain, a litchi farmer of Baktarpur Village in the upazila, said, there was a little rainfall in Ishwardi about 15 days back; later on, litchis started falling off. Since then there has been no rainfall. So, farmers have become worried again.
Akat Ullah, a farmer of Diar Baghail Village at Pakshi Union, said,
due to lack of rainfall for one week or two, litchis are now falling, and shrinking in size; and black spots have appeared on the litchis.
According to the Upazila Agriculture Office, there are 263,500 litchi trees in 3,150 hectares (ha) of land in different villages under Ishwardi Municipality and seven unions. There are 20 to 15 trees per bigha i.e. 42 trees per 1 acre and 90 trees per 1 ha.
The number of commercial litchi cultivators is 9,620 having 2,600 ha. There are 550 ha of isolated settlements. The amount of cultivable land is 2,835 ha. The area under litchi production is 2,835 ha. There are 55,550 offal trees.
Farmers also said, moneylenders from other districts are not coming to Ishwardi to buy litchi orchards due to the transport crisis, caused by Covid-19; because of this, the farmers will suffer financially this year.
Kadam Ali Biswas, a litchi farmer of Aotapara Village in Sahapur Union, said, his 400 litchi trees had yielded good; but due to the second wave of corona, he could not sell a single tree.
Asadul Haque, a farmer of Maniknagar Village, said, he has 150 litchi trees in his house; he could not sell a single tree.
Mizan Uddin, a wholesale litchi trader of Dhaka, said, litchis could not be kept for more than a day after being picked from the garden. He said, they are refraining from buying gardens in fear of major losses amid corona.