Even though mango cultivation has been of great importance for the local economy in recent years, the severe drought is currently putting the crops in a situation of risk, especially the orchards in the margins of the municipal head, warned Porfirio Salas Castillo, head of the local CNC.
Salas Castillo said there were about 11,000 hectares of mango, of which 5,000 were scattered throughout the communities and only 1,000 had irrigation systems, so about 4,000 hectares in the area were at risk.
The trees of at least 1,000 hectares are being lost due to lack of moisture, and another 1,000 trees were withering and, if the current conditions prevail, the situation may become critical for local mango producers according to Salas Castillo.
"According to the record we have, the situation is critical for mango producers, not only because they are losing their production because of the dryness and poor prices, but also because they are now losing the trees and that is a loss they won't be able to recover," he said.
So far, he said, the problems have been detected in areas like Santa Anita, El Ahijadero, El Colgado and Arroyo Grande, which lack irrigation and depend exclusively on the rainy season.
In a tour conducted by Noroeste through some areas, we could visually observe the damage to the mango trees; in some cases the foliage has blackened and the fruit has tended to fall off, apparently for lack of irrigation.
According to Salas Castillo, there are up to 200 trees in extreme drying conditions in a single mango orchard, and there are many others with branches that are beginning to turn yellow, so they will probably be lost.
From the beginning, the mango season was not promising for producers because of many negative situations; however, the trees drying is more complicated because it will affect production this year and in the future.
"There are many big producers that see their gardens as part of their life and heritage, they depend only on them and seeing them dry up is seeing their jobs disappear. The truth is that what we are living is very serious," he said.
He also stated they were preparing a report of the orchards that were affected in order to appeal to the state authorities so they are aware of the problem that is affecting farmers in the head municipal and, consequently, all of the people that depend on the fruit sector.
"They're not only losing their production because of dryness and poor prices, they are also losing their trees and they won't be able to recover them."
Publication date: 7/6/2015