Orange growers in Karnali are very distressed because their harvests are slashed due to a pest attack during the flowering period. Experts attribute the pest attack to an abrupt change in climatic behaviour, as the winter was slightly warmer which attracted pests to the crops.
According to the Agriculture Development Office, 700 orange farmers have been impacted by the pest problem in Bagchaur Municipality-9, including other rural municipalities which are considered as pocket areas for orange production.
The statistics of the office show that farmers cultivated the fruit on 1,520 hectares this year. According to Mahesh Acharya, chief of the office, 18,000 trees did not bear fruit. Output has been shrinking by 6 percent annually due to pest problems.
Photo source: Dreamstime.com