Orange growers in Zhemgang delighted as orange prices soar

Like other orange growing districts, orange growers in Zhemgang are fetching a good price this season. The villagers said the production is bountiful and they are earning double the amount compared to last season. Orange is one of the main sources of income for most villagers in the lower Zhemgang. 

The orange harvest season has almost come to an end in Zhemgang. Villagers said due to the favourable weather during the fruiting season, the production is good this time.

Because of the good price this season, some villagers earned over a million ngultrum this season.

“This time, I earned a good income compared to previous years. Last year, we fetched only Nu 700 to 900 ngultrum per box but this time, we got Nu 1,200 to 1,400,” said Tsheltrim Jamtsho from Gongphu village.

“Oranges are fetching good prices this year. So, I earned about Nu 60,000 to 70,000 from my orchard,” said Norbu Lhamo who is also from Gongphu village.

“Buyers came to meet me with a cash of Nu 2.5 M. However, I declined the offer as I wanted to sell the oranges myself. So far, I sold five truckloads. For a pickup truckload, I earned Nu 180,000 to 190,000 and for a DCM truckload, it was Nu 230,000,” said Minjurla from Kikhar village.

But every year, farmers are losing oranges to fruit dropping. Fruit dropping is the premature shedding of fruits from trees before they are fully ripe.

The orange growers are requesting relevant offices to address the issue at the earliest.

“If the fruit dropping continues, I think the ministry, district and gewog administrations concerned should look into this emerging issue and solve the problem at the earliest,” said Tshering Samdrup from Pongchola village.

“We have been facing the problem. I expected about 30 truckloads of oranges from my orchard this season but there were only around 20 truckloads. The government could not bring a definite solution to address the issue. So, I have purchased a spray from India,” said Minjurla.

Last year, Zhemgang produced more than 3,000 metric tonnes of oranges.

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