STAFF REPORT KHI: At a time when dates are ready to be plucked, dried, processed and sold, Upper Sindh has witnessed radical and catastrophic climate change recently, within a month. As the fruit starts dropping compelling the growers to harvest it, the orchard owners are worried about the rapid climate change.

In Sindh, dates crop matures with the advent of monsoon season. The production is under increasing pressure as the rapid climate change is disadvantageous for the crop.

Growers are of the view that innumerable climate change could affect crop growth and quality, while others worry that climate change is going to permanently alter the weather patterns, temperatures, and rainfall.

The veteran agriculture scientist from Khairpur, Mushtaq Soomro says temperature increase; extreme weather events and expected irregular rainfall are major threats to the crop.

“Although date crop needs full sun and grows in warm climates, but look at the pattern in temperature rise. Till May 12, temperature was normal. After that, it touched near 50 degrees centigrade. Sudden high temperatures could lead to poor harvest,” said Soomro.

However an entomologist Dr Mohammad Usman Shar, who recently conducted surveys in Khairpur district, considers red palm weevil pest biggest threat to areas dates.

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