To ease your site search, article categories are at bottom of page.

September 19, 2010

Higher than normal temperatures blamed for sharp drop in Senegal mango production

Families in Senegal’s Casamance region have less to spend and less to eat this lean season because of a drastic drop in mango production, residents and agriculture experts say.

Mangoes are a major source of family revenue in the region and an important food in the period between harvests. Farmers depend on mango exports as well as local sales.

“This year we have seen a 70-80 percent decrease in mango production in Casamance,” agriculture and rural development expert Mamadou Conté said in the main city of Ziguinchor. The region normally produces about 30,000 tons a year, he said.

“The reason is the intense heat we had during the period from November to March - the blossoming period for mango trees. At times it hit 40 degrees Celsius here in Casamance, while mango trees need cooler weather to bloom.”

From November 2009 to February 2010 temperatures hovered in the high 30s - “a rise from preceding years,” according to Mamadou Sambou, head of meteorology in Ziguinchor. He said the same period a year ago had high 20s.

“In some 40 years Casamance has not seen anything like this,” agricultural technician Conté said. “Surely it is due to climate change; I just hope it will not continue.” Other fruit trees have also been affected.

Fruit-destroying insects and increased soil salinity have also hit production, according to William Diatta, WFP senior programme officer and acting head of the Ziguinchor sub-office.

“A lot more households find themselves vulnerable this year,” Diatta said. WFP is likely to increase the number of people it assists through food-for-work projects - including restoring mangroves and building salt-blocking dams.

Clémentine Mangou’s family is just one of those affected. “We sold almost nothing this year,” said Mangou, who lives in the Tilène neighbourhood of Ziguinchor. Her family has an orchard in the village of Kitor, 7km away. She said her family harvested barely three tons, while normally they produce at least 10.

“Selling mangoes is what always got us through this period - providing us with some money to buy food and meet our daily needs, and even buy clothes for the children… Putting the children in school this year is going to be very difficult.”

Mangou said she goes door-to-door to wash clothes to make some money.

The loss of mangoes directly hits not only people’s wallets but also their health.

“Aside from the commercial aspect, mangoes play a huge role in food security in Casamance,” said Ismaïla Diédhiou of the Senegalese Association for Community Development.

Mangou said: “The children will not be able to eat mangoes as they usually do; even for the adults mangoes are an essential part of our diet during this period.”

IRIN

Article Categories

AGRA agribusiness agrochemicals agroforestry aid Algeria aloe vera Angola aquaculture banana barley beans beef bees Benin biodiesel biodiversity biof biofuel biosafety biotechnology Botswana Brazil Burkina Faso Burundi CAADP Cameroon capacity building cashew cassava cattle Central African Republic cereals certification CGIAR Chad China CIMMYT climate change cocoa coffee COMESA commercial farming Congo Republic conservation agriculture cotton cow pea dairy desertification development disease diversification DRCongo drought ECOWAS Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia EU EUREPGAP events/meetings exports fa fair trade FAO fertilizer finance fisheries floods flowers food security fruit Gabon Gambia gender issues Ghana GM crops grain green revolution groundnuts Guinea Bissau Guinea Conakry HIV/AIDS honey hoodia horticulture ICIPE ICRAF ICRISAT IFAD IITA imports India infrastructure innovation inputs investment irrigation Ivory Coast jatropha kenaf keny Kenya khat land deals land management land reform Lesotho Liberia Libya livestock macadamia Madagascar maize Malawi Mali mango marijuana markets Mauritania Mauritius mechanization millet Morocco Mozambique mushroom Namibia NEPAD Niger Nigeria organic agriculture palm oil pastoralism pea pest control pesticides pineapple plantain policy issues potato poultry processing productivity Project pyrethrum rai rain reforestation research rice rivers rubber Rwanda SADC Sao Tome and Principe seed seeds Senegal sesame Seychelles shea butter Sierra Leone sisal soil erosion soil fertility Somalia sorghum South Africa South Sudan Southern Africa spices standards subsidies Sudan sugar sugar cane sustainable farming Swaziland sweet potato Tanzania tariffs tea tef tobacco Togo tomato trade training Tunisia Uganda UNCTAD urban farming value addition value-addition vanilla vegetables water management weeds West Africa wheat World Bank WTO yam Zambia Zanzibar zero tillage Zimbabwe

  © 2007 Africa News Network design by Ourblogtemplates.com

Back to TOP