IMPHAL, August 18: Effective orange plantation is currently underway at Tamenglong district to replenish orchards in the state and to secure a better economic status for farmers.
The initiative is taken up under the Orange Development Programme by the Department of Horticulture and Soil Conservation since 2012.
As part of the initiative, budded orange saplings, farming equipment and manure were distributed to farmers by MLA of Tamenglong constituency, Janghemlung Panmei at his Babupara residence. The program was attended by officials of the Horticulture department who sensitized the farmers of planting methodology and sustenance.
The ‘budded’ saplings have been procured from National Research Centre for Citrus (NRCC) at Nagpur. The specialty of the saplings are thst oranges have been grafted into Pomello (Nobap) tree stalks. The Pomello plant being resistant to disease and fungus gives an added advantage to the orange buds, thus giving it a high survival rate and better produce. A tree can produce up-to 2000 oranges in three years.
The initiative is taken up as a special package for the declining orange plantations in Tamenglong district and to ensure a sustainable yield for the orange farmers. More than one lakh plants has been planted in four different areas at the district, Officer in charge of Tamenglong Orange Development Programme, Hafizz-uddin Khan said. He added that the farming manual has been translated into Rongmei dialect for imparting effective know how to local farmers.
MLA Janghemlung Panmei stated that he himself is an orange farmer and plans to increase the productivity of the district. Tamenglong is synonymous with oranges and the best produce comes from the district, with the technological inputs provided by the scientists and co-operation from the farmers, the benefit will be holistic, he added.
He mentioned that farming was done randomly earlier, but the new farming is done with a systematic approach. He voiced that the next Orange Festival to be held in December will be a tell-tale result of the new farming techniques. “I represent the farmers and also the constituency,” he concluded.
The scientists behind the citrus technology namely Dr AK Shrivastava and Govinda Dhamapurka of NRCC are to be given due credit for their fruitful labor, stated N Nilkumar, Horticulture Development Officer of Tousem.
The area under orange plantation is about 2314 hectares with an objective of producing 11 metric tons per hectare by the end of 2017.