Climate change hits mango growers hardBreaking

June 21, 2022

Mangoes might be the most awaited sweetest summer fruit but the
story doing rounds in news media about fifty per cent low production this year is sore to the core.

Pakistan is reportedly facing a 50% drop in mango production this year due to the effects of climate
change and high temperatures. The average production of mango in Pakistan is 1.8 million tons and with
50% reduction, it is likely to be limited to 0.9 million tons.

All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters Association (PFVA) has curtailed its export target by 25,000
tons as compared to last year in view of declining mango production during this season and has set an
export target of 125,000 tons for the current mango season which will fetch Pakistan valuable foreign
exchange of USD 106 million.

So, as a consumer, if you are worried over the low production resulting in a price hike and
nonavailability of the king of fruits in the market this year you are not alone. Growers and exporters are
equally upset.

To dig a little deeper and have a clear picture of the situation in the wake of drastic drop in production,
APP had a direct interaction with all stakeholders including mango orchid owners, traders, and

Jam Murad is a well-reputed and well-versed mango grower of Basti Habib in Muzaffargarh district
known for its mango harvesting where every resident owns a mango orchid. The landholding size varies
from 12 acres to 100 acres maximum. The town is engaged in mango production from generations.

Murad narrated the ordeal of mango growers and the adverse impact of climate change on the produce
this year in the following words: “We could see it coming. The mango plants need a temperature of
around 35 degrees when it’s time to bear fruit. Due to the early onset of intense summer the trees bore
50 percent less flowering than usual. It happened not only in Muzaffargarh, Multan, Rahim Yar Khan but
we have heard similar stories from as far as Sindh.”

Jam Murad is not the only grower who had to bear the brunt of sudden changes in weather patterns. He
is just one of the many growers who have less than 25 acres of land. And mango is not the only fruit
which has suffered a drop in production as according to Waheed Ahmed, head of PFVA, there are others
too which include green vegetables and Kinow.

Talking to APP Waheed feared that the wheat crop was also likely to be affected by these sudden
changes in weather conditions. “Due to climate change, shortage of electricity and diesel, increase in
cost of packaging, processing and high freight charges, exporters as well as mango growers have to face
a crisis during the current mango season.

During the current mango season, the mid of March witnessed average temperature between 37-42
degree Celsius the average temperature during the previous season was recorded as 34 Celsius. The
sudden rise in temperature has severely damaged mango production while irrigation problems, water

shortage due to blockage of canals, power load shedding and shortage of diesel during the season have
further deepened the climatic effects,” Waheed Ahmed explained.

Moreover, the stakeholders have expressed their concern over reduction of 30 percent funds in the
current fiscal budget to combat tough challenges of climate change.

Some observers and analysts believe that the situation can be improved only by imposing ‘agricultural
emergency’ and preparing a long term policy for the sector as a whole instead of doling out subsidy

Summer in our part of land brings with it a vibrant culture when people frequently throw mango parties
for their friends and relatives. But in the backdrop of dip in production this summer may not be as
festive as it was last year.