Orange crop growers in the Vidarbha region are seeing soaring temperatures, that will probably affect the yield by over 50%, if the progressive and major players in the field are to be believed.
Ramesh Jichkar, CEO of Shramjivi Nagpuri Santra Producers Company Limited, Warud, said over 126,000 hectares of agricultural land in Vidarbha is under orange cultivation. Due to the severe heatwave since March, the orange crop has suffered huge damage in the offspring itself.
Of the 126,000 hectares in the region, 78,000 hectares alone are under the orange crop in Amravati district, mostly in Warud-Morshi, known as the California of India.
Taj Khan, vice-president of the All India Indo-Bangla Orange Export Association, too expects a drop in the yield. “In January-February, there was good flowering on the crop raising hopes of a bumper crop. However, in March, the small-sized fruits started turning black and dropped from trees due to the heatwave. I expect a fall in the output of ambia crop this year. For example, if a farmer produces 10 tons of orange, it may come down to 6 tons this year.”