Drought Devastates Over 11 Lakh Sweet Lemon Trees in Maharashtra's Jalna and Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar

Drought Devastates Over 11 Lakh Sweet Lemon Trees in Maharashtra's Jalna and Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar

The drought has caused sweet lemon trees on over 4,062 hectares of land in these districts to dry up, a state agriculture department official told PTI.

PTIUpdated: Wednesday, June 12, 2024, 04:38 PM IST
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Drought Devastates Over 11 Lakh Sweet Lemon Trees in Maharashtra's Jalna and Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar |

Prevailing drought situation and lack of water have taken a toll on more than 11 lakh sweet lemon trees in the orchards of Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar and neighbouring Jalna district of Maharashtra, officials said on Wednesday.

The drought has caused sweet lemon trees on over 4,062 hectares of land in these districts to dry up, a state agriculture department official told PTI.

Maharashtra tops the country in terms of sweet lemon production. In the state, Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar and Jalna are known to be among the top sweet lemon producing districts. Sweet lemon trees are grown over 35,850 hectares of land in these two districts, the official said.

As per the norm, 277 sweet lemon trees are cultivated in one hectare of land. By that count, 11,25,174 sweet lemon trees have dried up due to water scarcity caused by scanty rainfall last year, he added.

The sweet lemon trees on 4,062 hectares of land in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar and Jalna districts were affected by the drought. Of the two districts, Jalna has suffered more loss as trees on 3,600 hectares have dried up.

"So far, 3,590 sweet lemon trees have dried up. Some farmers have cut down the trees, while others are yet to do that," a Jalna agriculture department official told PTI.

In Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, the losses have occurred in four tehsils. As many as 1,30,744 trees spread over 472 hectares of land have died up and cut down by farmers there, the officials said.

District superintendent agriculture officer Prakash Deshmukh said, "Like sugarcane, sweet lemon is a crop that guarantees good returns if water is available round the year. But the region loses these trees in a similar manner after every five years." "Once a sweet lemon tree goes dry, it has to be cut down. The dried tree can range from three years to 15 years. Generally, 277 sweet lemon saplings are planted in a hectare of land. Some farmers plant 300 such trees in a hectare," Deshmukh said. 

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