Scientific methods can revive Tripura orange orchards: Experts
Tripura Orange farming

Agartala: Orange orchards in Tripura can be revived if cultivators use scientific methods for upkeep and pest control, experts from the Nagpur-based Central Citrus Research Institute (CCRI) have said.

A CCRI team headed by its director Dilip Kumar Ghosh recently visited Jampui Hills in North Tripura, where around 75-80 of the 200-odd orange farmers in the state are based, and conducted a training programme for the cultivators.

“The experts stated that the orange growers in the state have to take the aid of scientific methods to boost their production by regularly nursing the plants and preventing pest infestation,” state Horticulture Department Director P B Jamatia said on Friday.

Many orange trees in the regions have been destroyed due to lack of manuring, pest infestation and also micro-climatic changes in the Jampui Hills, he said.

“Initially, the production was good but the cultivators did not take proper care of the trees, leading to lower yields. Many have switched over to growing betel nut and coffee,” he said.

Orange production in Jampui Hills has dipped by 35-40 per cent over the years. It was 4.48 metric tonnes last year, Jamatia said.

A rejuvenation programme was undertaken in 40 hectares of orange orchards in the region last year, and 20-25 additional hectares will be brought under cultivation, he said.

Jamatia said the horticulture department has been expanding orange cultivation in non-traditional areas such as Kill and Ampi in Gomati district.

“Only locally budded plants will be sown in the new areas as they grow faster and have better nutrient intake capacity,” he added.

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