NAOGAON, Mar 14: Mango growers in several upazilas of the district are worried due to severe hopper pest attack.
Farmers are trying to get rid of the pest by spraying pesticides on their trees.
The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) sources said over 18,527 hectares of land were brought under varieties of mangoes in the 11 upazilas of the district.
Growers of Sapahar, Porsha and Raninagar upazilas of the district are the worst sufferers and they feared that they may not to get the desired yield.
Farmer Taslim Uddin of Khudranali village under Sapahar upazila said he has mango orchard on around five acres of land.
A good amount of mango trees in his orchard have been attacked by hoppers which causes damage to the flower stems.
Omar Ali, another farmer of the same village, said he sprayed insecticides on the affected trees but that did not bring any good result.
The pest first attacks the flower stems which dries up slowly, he added.
Mahbubur Rahman, additional deputy director (plant preservation) of Naogaon DAE, said they are cooperating with the farmers and trying their best to control the situation.
"We are trying to control the pest attack through spraying proper insecticides," he added.
Meanwhile, BSS adds: Fruit setting process of mango is going on smoothly amid favourable climatic condition predicting bumper production of the most popular fruit in Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj districts.
Dr Alim Uddin, principal scientific officer of Rajshahi Fruit Research Center, here said the fruit setting stage is progressing now well and the mango trees has started wearing eye-catching looks in the orchards, gardens and homestead areas amidst favourable climatic condition.
Mango, a leading seasonal cash crop of the northwestern region, dominates the economy in Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj districts.
Dr Alim said even in early January this year, some mango trees were seen budding. In this connection, he mentioned sudden fluctuation of temperature might be a cause of such early budding.
He said the temperature during mid-December to early January dropped to 10 to 5.3 degrees celsius which usually comes down in late January.
The sudden drop of such temperatures during winter was a clear indication that the climate was changing.
Besides, he mentioned an early flowering mango was a response of the sudden climate change.
According to official sources in the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) and Regional Fruit Research Station, over 85 per cent mango trees have bloomed abundantly during this season on an average.
Talking to the news agency, Shamsul Haque, deputy director of Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), said the fruit setting stage is progressing well and farmers are contacting the officials and experts to take extensive care for better growth of the tender mangoes.
He suggested the farmers for proper nursing of their orchards and gardens at this stage and controlling pests' attacks, if any with temperature rise, by mango hoppers now, or sometime later by weevil or other insects for better mango production.
Abdul Hannan, a mango grower, said, "I have sprayed pesticides on the mango trees to protect those from pest attack and have good sprouting. I'm hopeful of good production if favourable weather prevails."
He also said mango gardens, set up for commercial purpose, have doubled in Rajshahi region recently. Mango yield has also doubled during last couple of years.
DAE sources say there are about 30 lakh mango trees of different ages and varieties on some 32,816 hectares in the region with creation of many mango orchards and increased mango farming in the homesteads in recent years.
Dr Alim Uddin hoped for a bumper mango production following massive blooms if the climatic conditions, fluctuations in temperatures, rainfalls, attack by pests and insects remain normal for the next couple of months.
If the extents of seasonal nor'westers remain within the tolerable limits, there is a huge possibility of achieving a record bumper production of all varieties mango this season, the expert predicted.
He said that the farmers have been showing more interests in mango farming in recent years to increase its productions get huge profits in achieving their economic wellbeing everywhere.
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