Palamau district has now joined the orange cultivator group of India as this season, it sold Rs 5 lakh worth of the citrus fruit, at Rs 30 per kilogram.
The credit for this goes to horticulture scientist of Chianki-based zonal research station of the Birsa Agricultural University -- Abdul Majid Ansari and his team, in Palamau.
Ansari said that the oranges grown in the research centre alone were sold at the amount, that too not commercially, adding that efforts are on to increase the yield further on the 10-acre land where these oranges were cultivated.
Palamau’s soil and climate are favourable for orange cultivation but farmers show apprehensions in cultivating them as it takes almost five years for an orange tree to yield full-sized fruits, Ansari explained. He said that they have to be made aware of the market value of oranges.
However, orange cultivation is prominent in Paton, Satbarwa, and Chainpur blocks of Palamau, the scientist added.
Chianki zonal research centre was famous for orange cultivation till the early nineties but began to dwindle by 2004-2005. The rejuvenation drive of the cultivation in this centre was back in 2007, sources said.
As many as 160 orange trees can be grown on one acre of land, with a five metre distance between each. A healthy tree can yield up to 30 to 100 kgs of the fruit, Ansari said.
As Palamau has upland it can be used for the orange cultivation here, he added.