Standing in the middle of his lush green mango orchards, Syed Ali Shah Darbelo can afford to smile. Weather advisories in his native home of Naushahro Feroze had been indicating soaring mercury levels in the month of March which would have been detrimental for his 50 acre mango farm. But even though he had been preparing for the worst, regular rain and an unseasonably cool month have left his trees blooming with all the signs of spring and a large harvest in the months to go.
But even as Darbelo and others like him take in the distinct scent of a mango orchard launching into full bloom, the happiness of these farmers is underlined with a sense of unease. Only last year the situation had been drastically different. The summer of 2022 was the hottest both Punjab and Sindh had seen in more than half a century. Average temperatures in mid-March (a vital time for mango trees) were soaring between 37-42 degrees, compared to the usual 34 degree temperature that this month sees in Punjab’s mango belt. This made the mangoes more susceptible to disease, premature ripening, and being of a lower quality. Overall, yields fell in both Punjab and Sindh although final data has still not been monitored by provincial crop monitoring departments.
Abdullah Niazi is senior proofreader at Benefit. He additionally covers farming and environmental change. He can be reached at