To keep the blight future away

More than 250 Drujeygang households hugely dependent on citrus fruits for income and a source of livelihood are upbeat about a better yield this season.
Aum Mukhumo of Thangna village who has 260 trees in her 50 decimals is pleased, that business this year will be better.
Last year her earnings plummeted to Nu 20,000 due to citrus diseases.
“Due to pests, the quality of the fruits was affected last year and it hugely affected production,” she said.
Attacks by certain pests was reported to officials who with other technical backstopping provided some chemical pesticides. But it did not help much.
Most of the citrus growers are accustomed to mandarin buyers who make advance bookings where they offer attractive prices. For this quality is highly important.
Pangna and Pangserpo farmers are also positive with this year’s yield.
Agriculture extension officer (AEO) Sonam Dechen said, no major problems have been reported by anybody but she did observe few possible cases of citrus greening, trunk borer, fruit fly and fruit drops. “But it is not severe,” she said.
A team from the Renewable Natural Resources Research and Development Centre (RNR-RDC)-Bajo and the gewog agriculture extension jointly held a meeting with the citrus growers.
Citrus growers urged the experts that the few reported cases should be treated immediately as they feared the possibility of it spreading.
Officials assured farmers that they would be provided with effective chemicals to tackle the disease.
Citrus growers instructed were that proper management techniques such as grafting and top working are equally vital to the quality of the fruits.
Records with the AEO say there are around 30, 829 numbers of citrus trees and about 13, 027 numbers of seedlings in the gewog.

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