The Tripura government has initiated re-planting of orange trees in the North Tripura district, said agriculture minister Pranajit Singha Roy on Wednesday. The goal is to revive the orange cultivation in the Jampui Hills. In these hills, the orange productivity has gone and the areas under cultivation have also shrunk as fruit farmers have turned to other cash crops like coffee, areca nuts, and ginger.
Speaking at a press conference, Roy said: “The production of orange in the Jampui hills was lost and even though the productivity is still on in other places of the state, the taste cannot match with those of the Jampui Hills.”
Agriculture director DP Roy said that due to the outbreak of dieback, powdery mildew and anthracnose diseases in the orange trees, the farmers had shifted to the plantation of areca nuts and coffee in hills. The disease spreads through the air but can be cured with support from the farmers. They need to apply enough spray from upper to the lower villages so that the disease does not spread in the air.
Roy added that the agriculture department has also started growing oranges in Baramura hill range in West Tripura district to expand its production in the state.
“We are now looking for vacant lands to expand the cultivation of oranges in the state. We also have a plus point which is the climatic condition. For the first time, orange was grown in over 500 hectares of lands in Baramura hill range in West Tripura district and over 1,000 tons of oranges have already been sold,” Roy added.