Insect menace to hit mango output

Sekhar Regmi

Biratnagar, April 4:

An estimated 50 per cent decrease in mango production is likely this year due to fruit fly menace in the district, informed the Regional Crop Conservation Laboratory (RCCL), Biratnagar.Raj Kant Jha, crop conservation executive of Regional Crop Conservation Laboratory, said, "The current fruit fly problem has disabled plants from blooming properly and this might decrease the total mango output by 50 per cent. We had not encountered this problem in the past."The Regional Crop Conservation Laboratory has come up with many programmes to curb the fruit fly problem. Jha added that the RCCL has been actively working on spraying Indosulfan and Roger on mango plants at Pokharia and Siswanijahanda VDCs.

The laboratory is also planning to start an awareness programmme about fruit flies among mango farmers in the area. "The low blooming percentage is also due to the nature of the plant — the mango plant blooms only once in two years."The agriculture development office in Morang has also pointed out the possibility of low mango production this year.Bal Ram Koirala, chief of the ADO, said that the major reason for this dip is fruit fly.According to ADO statistics, mango was planted on eight hectares of land last year and currently the district has 20,000 old mango plants and 3,000 new ones.The ADO has started to distribute new mango plants to boost mango production in the district.Mango production is high in Dandihaat, Siswanijahanda, Pokharia, Bardanga, Sijua and Kaseni VDCs.

Maldaha, Amrapali, Mallika, Bambai and Kalkatia species of mangoes are cultivated in the district. A total of 80 metric tonnes of mango was produced in the district last year.

It has been learnt that mango production in the district is unsatisfactory because of unsuitable climatic condition.

The ADO has taken Morang as a low-mango output zone in Terai area.