Ranjan-led panel to work for revival of Coorg oranges

Minister for Forest C H Vijayshankar inaugurating the one-day workshop on revival of Coorg oranges and boosting tourism potential of Kodagu, organised by Kodagu Zilla Panchayat, District Administration, Horticulture Department and Department of Tourism in Madikeri on Tuesday. DH PHOTO

A committee led by MLA M P Appachu Ranjan will be formed to work for revival of Coorg oranges, which is under threat. The committee will have farmers, officials and elected representatives in it, said Minister for Forest C H Vijayshankar.

Inaugurating the one-day workshop on revival of Coorg oranges and boosting tourism potential of Kodagu organised by Kodagu Zilla Panchayat, District Administration, Horticulture Department and Department of Tourism here on Tuesday, he said that Coorg orange which was very popular once, is now losing its popularity. Hence reviving this crop is necessary.

In this regard, the minister said the Committee headed by Appachu Ranjan has been formed and Ranjan will select the members for the committee himself. The Committee will start functioning within a month.

He informed that the Government is willing to implement the recommendations that the committee will do in future. He promised to meet the CM and the Minister for Horticulture and urge them to provide all assistance to revive the crop.

The Minister said that orange saplings will be cultivated either in Horticulture Department nurseries or in private nurseries and will be distributed free of cost to growers, on time.
“State is now giving importance to cultivation of crop forest in the State. In this regard, forest officials will visit the homes of farmers and collect information on the crops they would like to grow. Based on this, the saplings will be provided to them,” he said.

Meanwhile, addressing the gathering MLA Appachu Ranjan accepted the responsibility of the Chairman of Coorg Orange Development Committee and said that nothing can be gained just by forming a committee. Instead, the Government should implement the recommendations of the Committee promptly.

“We should plan a 10 year project to bring back the glory of the Coorg oranges. We need to work in this direction right away. The funds should reach us on time,” he said.

Farmers oppose

Farmers expressing their anger during the workshop said that Coorg oranges has suffered only due to the negligence of horticulture department. They said that the department does not provide saplings on time and have failed to control the diseases affecting the orange trees and fruits.

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