Climate Resilient Adaptation Strategies for Litchi Production
Litchi is very fastidious in its climatic requirements. Its cultivation and commercialization globally has therefore been at slow pace due to this stringent requirement. It is observed that there is poor as well as erratic bearing pattern in trees in many important litchi-growing areas. The growth, panicle emergence time, flowering behaviour and flowering phase have been found to be influenced by the impact of climatic change. The productivity/yield and quality fruit production have also been found to be very much affected by environmental parameters like temperature, photoperiod/light intensity, moisture content in the soil and humidity in the atmosphere.
In an era of dynamic climatic changes, there is a strong need for adaptation strategies to be implemented with efficient water-nutrient management, canopy management and integrated pest management (IPM). The present assessment is based on the study carried out at NRC for Litchi, Muzaffarpur, and Bihar where practice of nonselective corrective pruning and reiterative pruning has been adopted for canopy development and enhanced quality production as well as for rebuilding of canopy even in unproductive old senile orchards. Based on this success, proper and timely pruning and training techniques have been standardized for canopy development and influencing microclimate for successfully combating the variable climatic conditions. The resilient adaptation strategies for successful litchi cultivation interalia include use of (1) windbreakers for avoiding damage by heavy windstorm, (2) better root stocks, (3) canopy management, (4) girdling, (5) rejuvenation of old unproductive orchards, (6) mulching and (7) honeybees as potential pollinators. The skilful use of adaptation strategies at appropriate time is the key for successfully overcoming the ill effects of climatic changes.
As litchi has very narrow genetic base, it provides an ideal opportunity for developing climate analogous software, which could be adopted for litchi cultivation in country’s different climatic zones for benefit of the farmers. A start has already been made by developing IT-enabled “frost alert system” software which uses forecast system to mitigate the ill effects in litchi production owing to vagaries of climatic conditions.
KeywordsCarbon Sequestration Potential Fruit Drop Canopy Development Cloudy Weather Mulch Material
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