TEZU: A widespread decline in the production of citrus fruits in several Arunachal Pradesh districts has caused alarm among orange farmers in the state as well as in the Horticulture Department.
Lohit one of the major orange bowl districts, affected by the phenomenon as many farmers had to abandon hundreds of hectares of orange orchards. Loiliang, Tezugam, Changliang and part of Demwe are the worst affected villages.
According to a survey conducted by the Arunachal Pradesh Horticulture Research and Development Mission (APHRDM), Wakro in Lohit district, known as the orange bowl of the state is also badly affected.
Though decline in citrus fruit is caused by several factors, the survey team zeroed in on three causes – nutrient deficiency (especially zinc deficiency), greening disease and viral infection (Tristeza and Yellow Corky Vein virus), responsible for the crisis.
when contacted about the epidemic like occurrence, S Rehman Horticulture Development Officer says some of the garden in abandoned state could be rejuvenated if proper care is taken.
Timely cleaning of bushes, nutritional supplement and moisture addition, timely pruning etc are need of the hour to boost up its fruiting, he suggests.