Bengal is taking steps to arrest decline in orange production in Darjeeling

The West Bengal government is taking several measures to curb the decline in production of the famous Darjeeling orange due to Dieback disease, which has caused about a 10-15 percent decline in production of this orange variety  this year.   Darjeeling mandarins are grown only in Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts of the state. “Darjeeling tangerines are world famous. But its production has decreased significantly. One reason is disease. Due to this disease, production has declined by around 10-15 percent this year”,  Food Industry and Horticulture Minister Arup Roy said at the West Bengal Food  Conclave  on Thursday.Roy said that the state government is taking measures to prevent decline in orange production due to the disease. “We have spoken to Central Citrus Research Institute, Nagpur and other experts on this matter. We have to help our farmers”.

 Disease-free plant material

  Over the years, about 80 percent of the area under  Darjeeling mandarins in the state has been reduced due to  Dieback disease alone. The production of this orange variety  has decreased due to pest attack, lack of  quality seedlings and reduced soil fertility, among others.  To reduce the decline in orange production, the state food industry and horticulture department plans to produce quality disease-free planting material for Cinchona and other medicinal plants.  “We are going to the farmers to rejuvenate the existing orange plantations. For this we are doing disease and insect, insect and pest and nutrition”,  Growth is needed when old and more fertile plants get root rot diseases. “We are giving training to the farmers”, the official said.

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