Workshop on orchard rejuvenation held

KAIMAI, Jan 23: Orange growers and panchayat members participated in a workshop on ‘rejuvenation of old and declining orange orchards’ organised here in Tirap district by the Horticulture department on 23 January, under the MIDH scheme.
Resource persons from the department, led by DHO Henrik Basar taught the farmers about the importance of rejuvenating declining orange orchards through dehorning exhausted trees, pruning primary branches, and pruning water suckers.
The farmers were also taught how to prepare Bordeaux paste and Bordeaux mixture.
The programme was followed by a practical demonstration on pruning of branches, dehorning, ring application of manures, mulching, application of Bordeaux mixture and Bordeaux paste, and spraying of organic pesticides.
A similar workshop was conducted at Pullong village on 19 January.
‘Pullong orange’ has been almost a brand name in the winter local markets in Tirap, and enjoys a good market because of its high juice content and pleasant aroma.
In the recent past, it was even thought of as being a better-quality orange than those grown in Wakro, the orange bowl of Arunachal Pradesh.
But, for the past 2 years, the quality of fruit, and even the fruiting capacity of the orange trees in Pullong, went down alarmingly, bringing down the farmers’ profit margin. This prompted the Horticulture department to take up the rejuvenation drive for orange orchards under the MIDH scheme.
The DHO appealed to the farmers to adopt a scientific approach to orange cultivation, and to practice proper care and maintenance procedures.
The farmers responded with their grievances while carrying out orange plantation, and sought assistance from the department from time to time. The DHO and his technical staff assured the farmers that they would provide guidance whenever required, and urged the farmers not to leave their orchards unattended.