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Dry spell affects horti in NE
Published on 23 Mar. 2009 12:59 AM IST
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Prolonged dry spell and unexpected fluctuation in temperature have caused delay in the horticultural productions including summer fruits in Northeastern states. According to agricultural scientists, entire Northeastern region was facing a peculiar weather phenomenon so far this year that ultimately led to diseases and pest attacks on horticultural crops, reports UNI. Steady and unprecedented fluctuation in temperature observed by at least 17 meteorological divisions including Northeast, Kashmir and Shimla had caused delay in mango flowering across the country, scientists pointed out. Talking to UNI here today leading agriculture scientist and Joint Director of Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), Tripura Centre Prof N P Singh said delay in the mango flowering indicated improper synchronisation of temperature and day light duration. Process of mango flowering is based two major factors temperature and day light duration and the process takes place with a delay if both the factors are not in the right proportion, which happened this year about after one and half decades, Prof Singh said. Apprehending less production in horticulture sector, Prof Singh said unexpected dry spell, short duration of winter, lack of pre-monsoon shower and steady increase of temperature had already affected the vegetable production besides mango, pineapple and banana. During initial and critical phase, all the horticultural crops including perennial fruits need minimum rainfall to prevent pest and disease attacks as well as to continue nutritional support base but this year entire Northeast faced the serious dry spell that affected yielding intensity, Mr Anjan Sengupta, Agriculture Officer of Tripura Government said. Referring to increasing incidence of temperature fluctvations in Northeastern states Mr Sengupta pointed out that on 12th February this year Shillong (one of the coolest places in the country) recorded the highest temperature at 29.8 degree Celsius, which set a new record after 40 years. Shillong had a record of highest it of 26 degrees reorded on February 16, 1969 but this year it set a new record. Same in Tripura, after 15 years the state witnessed prolong dry spell as there was no rain for the past 145 days, Mr Sengupta added. Referring to Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) study he said that increasing climatic variability associated with global warming would result in seasonal or annual fluctuations in food production. Droughts, floods, tropical cyclones, heavy precipitation and heat waves were known as negative impact on farm production and livelihoods of farmers. Increasing glacier melting in the Himalayas would also affect the availability of irrigation, especially in the Indo-Gangetic plains, which might have consequences for food production, Dhiman Das Choudhury, Technical Officer (Met division) of ICAR said. Mr Choudhury also underlined that due to persistent presence of strong anticyclone over Arabian Sea, there was warm air advection, which led to anomalous above normal temperatures in the entire eastern coast. The warm air circulation has affected comparatively cooler regions in the Himalayan belt including Northeast India and also clear sky conditions due to lack of rainfall activity had contributed to high day temperatures. He said that recent Cycir over Meghalaya and adjoining Bangladesh persists extending up to 2.1 km and the Westerly trough now runs from South East-Tibet to Gangetic West Bengal between 3.1 and 4.5 km and as a result, light to moderate rain would occur at isolated places over Assam and very light to light rain at a few places in Arunachal Pradesh but weather in other part of the region would continue to be dry.

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