Orange farmers in the Nepalese district of Dhading, a main orange production area, are reporting a good year. Sales reached Rs 750 million (€5.77 mln) after a 40 per cent increase in output, thanks to temperate climate and absence of strong winds and hail.Moreover, a decline of the pests in the orange orchards scattered around the district also led to a surge in total output from 52,000 tons last year to 80,000 tons this year, according to the Agriculture Information Centre in Dhading.
As per official stats, farmers have posted near-double sales amounting to Rs 750 million from Rs 380 million last year.
Once considered an ‘orange island’ in the district, Syadul village used to produce the largest batch of oranges and transport it to neighboring districts of Kathmandu, Chitwan, Makawanpur and Pokhara. However, the village reeled under heavy pest infestations that led to a sharp decline in production for a decade.
But this year, orange farmers of Syadul who struggled to produce oranges a year ago have doubled the income from selling sweet citrus fruit. Moreover, Dhading has recently seen a stable rise in number of farmers turning to orange orchards, statistics show. As per the information centre, commercial cropping of oranges expanded to additional 30 hectares in the district. At present, 1100 farmers have planted oranges in 560 hectares, apart from unaccounted private orchards.