Pakistani mango producers claim that due to extreme heat and water scarcity in one of the world’s most climate-vulnerable nations, production of the valued fruit has decreased by up to 40% in some locations.
In Pakistan, the entrance of mango season is greatly anticipated. During the hot, humid summers, about two dozen kids arrive. However, this year, temperatures began to rise abruptly in March, months earlier than typical and were then accompanied by heatwaves that destroyed crops and reduced the water levels in irrigation canals.
Fazle Elahi counted the bags arranged on his field and said, “Usually I pick 24 truckloads of mangoes; this year I have only received 12.” “We are doomed,”
The nation harvests almost two million tonnes of mangoes each year in southern Punjab and Sindh, ranking it among the top exporters of the fruit in the globe.
According to Gorham Baloch, a senior official in the agriculture department of the Sindh provincial government, the complete harvest has not yet been calculated. Still, production is already short by at least 20 to 40% in most districts. The owner of large tracts of orchards outside Mirpur Khas, also known as the “city of mangoes,” Umar Bhugio, claimed that this year’s rainfall was less than half what it usually is for his crops.
This year, he said, “mango growers had two issues: one, the early rise in temperatures, and second, the water deficit.” Due to inadequate infrastructure and poor resource management, Pakistan is one of the most water-stressed nations in the world.
According to the Global Climate Risk Index created by environmental NGO Germanwatch, it is also the seventh most vulnerable country to extreme weather due to climate change.
Recent floods, droughts, and cyclones have killed dozens, forced thousands from their homes, wrecked livelihoods, and devastated infrastructure.
“The early temperature rise caused crops to use more water. It evolved into a competition between crops for water use “Abid Suleri, director of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute and a specialist in food security (SDPI). Early May often sees a rise in temperature in the mango belt, which helps the fruit ripen before picking begins in June and July.
However, the mango blooms, an essential component of the reproductive cycle, were harmed by the approach of summer as early as March.