Cold weather harms vegetable crops, orchids

Naudero, Sindh: Chilly weather in upper Sindh with temperature in subzero range in many areas have also affected the standing crops of vegetables and orchids, especially in Larkana district where growers are facing huge losses.

Sudden sharp increase in cold has brought miseries for the peasants who have sown tomatoes, chillies, brinjals and other vegetables after harvesting paddy crop. The owners of Guava orchids are suffering losses as fruit yield has dropped due to extreme cold. In Larkana district guava orchids are spread over about 12000 acres and are major source of livelihood for thousands of labourers. It is said the guava orchids on about 8000 acres have suffered a lot due to ongoing cold spell.

Mahotta, Agani, Paroo Bhutto, Chooharpur and other villages have been suffering extreme cold as they are near the Indus River.

Guava orchid contractors Khalid Memon, Zamir Agani and Manik Sethar told PPI that due to sudden cold spell the daily production of Guava has gone down and they are facing huge losses. They further said that about 01mn people work in these orchids to pluck, pack and transport guava fruit to other parts of the country and due to low yield they have been rendered unemployed.

Sindh’s guava is also sent to Peshawar, Quetta, Lahore and Rawalpindi and other cities. Sindh government had announced to set up a factory to produce guava oil but no steps taken in this regard as yet.

Like growers of Guava orchids, the poor vegetable farmers of Mahotta, Banguldero, Sallar Bhutto, Naundero, Dhamrah, Chatto Mangi, Garhi Khuda Bux and other villages are in a fix as their crops are being affected by the current wave of extreme cold. They have however covered their sown vegetables with bushes and other old traditional methods even their crops are being affected due to frost.

These vegetables are grown on thousands of acres of land by the tillers who do not want to sow wheat due to fluctuation of prices and they prefer the cash crop of vegetables after harvesting paddy. According to these farmers chillies crop would have been ready for harvesting in by the second week of January and tomato and brinjal crops by the second week of February but the cold weather has ruined their crop. Hundreds of labours earn livelihood when these crops are ready for harvesting. These vegetables are sent to many cities of Pakistan including Karachi.

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