Horticulture Department to revive Coorg oranges

From 50,000 acres in 1970s acreage has come down to 3,000

The horticulture department is planning to utilise Rs 50 lakh for the revival of oranges.
Oranges from Kodagu, beetle leaves from Mysore, ‘Rasabale’ of Nanjangood, Mysore Mallige, Udupi Mallige, Hadagali Mallige, Kamalapura Bale, Devanahalli Chakotha, Mango of Sagar are known all over the world through its Geographical Indication certificate. The Coorgoranges are greenish yellow in colour and have a tangy taste unlike their better-known Nagpur counterpart, which is much sweeter. However, oranges had a set back with the entry of coffee and the rise in the price of coffee. Oranges were grown in 45,000 to 50,000 acre in 1970s in Kodagu. However, now the area under orange cultivation has come down to 3,000 acre.

With the coffee getting international market, the growers started neglecting oranges. Now oranges are grown along with the coffee plantations in the district, said an official.
“The Horticulture Department is planning to hand over the GI registration ownership to the growers by imparting training to them. Geographical Indication Registry, Chennai issues GI certificate to any crop. The GI certificate helps in protecting the bio diversity and check developing genetically modified crops,” he added.   

To protect Coorg Orange, a society will be formed. The Horticulture Department has decided to provide information on the importance of the orange, the method of cultivation, maintenance of post harvest period, processing, marketing through documentary and other publicity materials. By developing saplings, the department is planning to extend the area under cultivation. It has been decided to supply saplings to the growers, said Horticulture Department Deputy Director J Shivamurthy.

The farmers will be given training in the cultivation of orange, marketing facility and giving
a brand name to the Coorg orange. Rashtriya Krishi Vikasa yojane aims at providing basic facilities to the stalls selling oranges. Under the scheme, both the Centre and the state will provide necessary funds, he added.

Assistant Director Pramod said “orange plants were destroyed due to ‘Nanjanu disease.’ The disease affected plants turn yellow. The orange plants can be protected by irrigating it during summer, application of fertilisers and insecticides. Earlier oranges were grown in Baane land. However, now Baane land has taken over coffee. With the disappearing of Kodagu oranges, Nagpur variety of oranges were started growing in the district,” he added.

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