From a Correspondent
Boko, December 10: Production of oranges has gone reduce drastically in South Kamrup. The Department of Agriculture has allegedly totally failed to control the situation.
Farmers in Garo villagers like Shantipur, Kingaon, Larubama, galdonga, Rajapara, Upper Rajapara, Amrengko, Parugaon, Hakumari, Larubama, Gohalko, Nowapara, Kompatoli and Banjeng along the Assam-Meghalaya border are confused. Earlier during the season they earned a lot of money from oranges and muga silk. By these earnings have come down in recent years.
Seventy-year old Garo woman Neku Bala Marak said that earlier this area was covered with thick forests. So this area was suitable for cultivation of orange, pineapple and other citric fruits. “But in the last two decades forests have destroyed. Also, we are facing dry climate conditions due to which orange or other citric fruits cannot be grown easily. The production of betel nuts, paddy or other vegetables is also decreasing day-by-day. So, if we are not successful in stopping deforestation, we should forget about the famous ‘Shantipur’ orange of Assam,” she said.
Dr NK Mohan, retired scientist of Horticulture, Jorhat Agriculture University, however, said that most of the orange trees are very old, around 40-50 years old in most cases. So, as the farmers do not use proper techniques, these trees have become sick and weak. Also, some farmers have planted new orange samples in some area without treatment of the soil. So these trees have lost their production capacity. Moreover, due to climate change, survival of these trees is difficult now, said Dr Mohan.