Fruit Production And Climate Change
Mitigating the adverse effects of climate on fruit production is the subject of an interesting article of Dr. Pablito P. Pamplona.
Dr. Pamplona, of course, is the fruit expert who retired earlier from the University of Southern Mindanao in Kabacan, North Cotabato, and now managing his own fruit farm and nursery.
He writes that production of pummelo, longkong lanzones, durian, mangosteen and rambutan in Mindanao has been adversely affected by the climate change that started in 2007. Climate change, he said, brought about unpredictable occurrence of long and heavy rains accompanied by strong winds not previously experienced in Mindanao. One time, it’s a prolonged period of light rains followed by a short dry spell, like what happened in 2007. The short dry period was not long enough to trigger profuse flowering of the trees and that was the reason why there was a shortfall in production.
At another time, there was a period of prolonged heavy rains which resulted in longer soil saturation that resulted in damaged roots in many instances. Because of damaged roots, the trees, especially durian, were killed. They became susceptible to the phytophthora disease.
At one time, Dr. Pamplona wrote, the heavy rains were followed by a prolonged dry period. With the intense sunlight and high temperature during that period, the leaves as well as the flowers and developing fruits wilted. Of course production declined sharply.
Dr. Pamplona writes that starting in the middle of 2008, he implemented some techniques to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change and the damage by emerging pests. “Our techniques succeeded in restoring the health and productivity of the trees enabling us to produce commercial quantities of mangosteen, durian, pummelo and longkong fruits under a situation where low to no production was experienced in many fruit farms in Mindanao.
By Zac B. Sarian