The Financial Express

Drought shatters dream of Magura litchi growers

| Updated: April 26, 2021 10:46:29

A farmer showing dried-up litchi at his garden at Mithapur village under Magura sadar upazila — FE Photo A farmer showing dried-up litchi at his garden at Mithapur village under Magura sadar upazila — FE Photo

Drought like situation is prevailing in Magura. Such a situation has raised concern among he litchi growers in the district.

Last month ample flowers in litchi trees brought smile on the faces of litchi growers. But from the very beginning of the current month a drought like situation is prevailing in the district. Amid extreme drought litchi growers are apprehending massive slump in production with heavy loss.

Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) Magura sources informed, they brought 588 hectares of land under litchi cultivation this season . But the temperature in the district for last 2 weeks (from April11 to 24) revolves around 40 degrees Celsius. Such temperature is hindering normal growth of litchi in the district.

Ajit Datta, a litchi grower in village Mithapur under Magura sadar upazila tsaid," I have made two litchi orchards in my 80 decimal land. But litchis in my garden are getting dried day by day. All my litchis will be damaged if such a weather prevails for a week .In the meantime I have invested Tk about 40 thousand in my orchard. I am apprehending losing my investment let alone any profit.

Another farmer Abdush Salam of village Sachani under Magura sadar upazila said, "This year I have four litchi orchards in my five bighas of land .Every year orchards get sold to traders within March. But this year no orchard has been sold in our village as litchi has taken a grey look due to extreme drought. last year I made loss from litchi due to corona. This year too I am apprehending loss from my litchi.

A litchi trader who came from Cumilla said, "I am purchasing litchi orchard in the district for about 10 years. This year I have also come to purchase litchi orchard. But after visiting different orchardsof the district I am disheartened. Litchi in every orchard is drying up due to adverse weather . So I have decided not to purchase any orchard.

On contact Palli Prokriti ( an agriculture based NGO)executive director Shafiqur Rahman said, litchi cultivation has created huge employment in the district. About 20 thousand people in the district are directly or indirectly dependent on litchi growing. last year the people were affected due to corona. Moroever this year they are waiting for a hard time. Government should provide the litchi growers with incentive to save huge employment, he opined

When contacted, Magura DAE official Md Abu Talha said a drought like situation is prevailing in the district hampering litchi production. However if it rains within a very short time the situation will come as a boon for litchi growers. Regarding incentive he said, however we shall inform our superior authority in this regard.

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