15th Mar 2022 11:03:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

The Arunachal government admitting that production of oranges is on the decline is definitely bad news. Orange tops the state’s horticulture produce and is the biggest means of revenue generation for the numerous especially rural communities directly or indirectly engaged in this sector.
The government on Monday informed the State Assembly that shallow water table, especially during the winters, and lack of maintenance were the prime reasons for declining orange production in Arunachal Pradesh. A team from Nagpur-based Orange Research Institute, which recently studied the cause of dip in production in the Lohit belt, attributed the decline to low water table, lack of maintenance, including inadequate manure application. Age is also a factor as an orange tree can produce fruits up to 40 years on average.
Unlike the traditional methods currently practiced, orange cultivation needs scientific approach right from pit digging, accurate spacing, maintaining proper sanitation and pruning, regular inspection including spraying of insecticide and fungicide to control trunk borer and bark eating caterpillars. Non-usage of manures and fertilizers by the farmer, lack of timely moisture to the plant during dry season and failure to use basic technical knowhow being imparted during routine training programmes are the key reasons for citrus decline, the department says.
That said, the government and the department concerned must take multi-disciplinary strategies to rejuvenate the declining production and officials must be in constant touch with the progressive farmers of orange growing areas to address the problem.  Lohit which has the distinction of being the largest orange producing district of Arunachal had reported declining orange production as early as 2013. It is 2022 now; almost a decade has gone by. One would think, if timely steps would have been taken, the decline could have been arrested.
Arunachal’s certified organic kiwis were recently launched at the national capital’s Dilli Haat. Its launch is indeed a big step forward for the horticulture sector of the state but let us not forget that Arunachal is famed for its delicious oranges way before Kiwi was introduced in the state. Almost every house in rural Arunachal will have an orange tree if not a couple of them. Orange has been fuelling the local economy since the state’s existence and therefore a decline in orange production is making farmers nervous and horticulturists and the government must also worry by all means.

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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