Baglung citrus farmers happy lot

BAGLUNG: Farmers in Baglung district are elated as they have sold their oranges before these ripened while farmers in other districts are lamenting that they are not getting proper price and market for their oranges.

Farmers in Bhakunde VDC of Baglung, who grow oranges commercially, get enough money without much labour since orange traders come door-to-door and pay for their oranges while they are still on the trees. ‘’We are pleased to have got money for our oranges two months earlier. We neither will have to wait for money till the oranges are ready nor do we need to seek a market,” said Hira Bahadur Rayamajhi, an orange farmer.

Former VDC Chairman Nara Bahadur Thapa said farmers have no complaints about markets though the farmers started producing oranges commercially 10 years ago. “Farmers in the VDC get around Rs 1.5 million annually selling oranges,” he added. Locals get benefit of transportation service in the VDC to take them to the market. Though the VDC was one nearest to the district headquarters, farmers had to pay high wages to porters to carry fruits as the burden is heavy.

Customers prefer Bhakunde’s oranges since they are juicy and sweet as the VDC has moderate climatic conditions. Farmers can store the oranges or any other products for long due to the fresh and cold environment there, said farmer Dal Bahadur Thapa.

Farmers are attracted towards orange farming since the climate is favourable for orange rather than food crops. Locals said they would benefit more if technology to store fruits for long periods was managed locally. Aside from oranges, potatoes, radish, millet, barley and wheat are produced here.