Nepal’s eastern hill region is expected to produce oranges worth Rs1 billion (€7.1 mln), despite a sharp drop in production this year, expected to turn out at 25 percent. According to Laxman Bhattarai, manager at the Dharan-based Agriculture Product Wholesale Market, hailstorms in April and May had affected orange yield.
“Despite a drop in production by 25 percent, the value of citrus in the market has increased,” said Bhattarai. According to him, the sales of oranges this season are expected to bring an extra Rs190 million to farmers' homes this year as compared to last year’s sales.
Until this month, orange farmers from the seven hill districts in the region—Dhankuta, Bhojpur, Terhathum, Khotang, Sankhuwasabha, Panchthar and Taplejung—have sold 8,120 tonnes of oranges worth Rs810 million.
At this point in time, only 350 tonnes of oranges have been sold at the market in Dharan compared to 1,131 tonnes last year. “Extended monsoon is also one of the reasons behind the drop in the production of oranges this year as it delayed the ripening of the fruit,” said Bhattarai.
There is a high demand for Nepali oranges produced in the eastern region, locally and also in Indian and Bangladesh.
[ Rs100 = €0.71 ]