Its Coorg oranges vs Nagpur oranges in Kodagu district

Coorg orange which received global recognition.  dh photoCoorg orange has global recognition and has attracted the attention of the customers at the global level due to its colour and taste. In 1960s, oranges were grown in 50,000 to 60,000 hectare land. However, over the years, disease attacked orange plants. As a result, the land under orange cultivation was reduced to 3,000 to 4,000 hectares. After the price of coffee rised in the international market, orange estates have disappeared in Kodagu.

Based on the proposal of the horticulture department on the need for reviving oranges in Kodagu, the Central government released a sum of Rs one crore in 2009-10. The Horticulture department purchased Nagpura orange plants instead of Coorg Orange plants. According to officials in Horticulture department, Kodagu-Nagpura varieties are one and the same.

However, after Indian Horticulture Research Scientists reported that Nagpura variety of orange plants are not suitable for the weather in Kodagu, the discussion on Coorg and Nagpura oranges have increased. Though elected representatives from BJP tried to ascertain the fact that both the varieties are same, Congress and JD(S) are demanding Lokayukta probe into the misappropriation in the purchase of Nagpura orange plants.
Under National Horticulture Mission, 2.43 lakh Nagpura variety of orange plants have been distributed. A sum of Rs 47 lakh have been spent over it. However, distributing Nagpura variety of orange plants in a hurry without giving any information to the growers have given room for suspicion.

Another interesting thing is that the department had given advertisement in local newspaper for the supply of orange plants. However, in the tender, individuals from Hassan and Shimoga have taken the tender to supply the plants.

However, horticulture department is supporting its stand on the distribution of Nagpura variety of orange plants. In the beginning, Chettallu Horticulture Research Institute had agreed to supply 10,000 orange plants. As the demand was more, it was necessary to purchase Nagpura plants.

The geography of Kodagu is different. Kodagu receives six months rain and the temperature does not rise. However, Nagpura oranges grow under 40 degree celsius weather. With the Kodagu weather, the colour and taste of orange may vary feel scientists.

The taste of Coorg orange can not to compared with Nagpura orange, said a senior officer.

Some say that horticulture department runs eight nurseries in Kodagu and spend Rs 15 lakh annually.

Instead of purchasing 2.43 lakh Nagpura variety of orange plants, the department could have developed plants in its own nurseries in a phased manner.

However, we can not brush aside the fact that globally recognised Coorg orange will be a thing of past if Nagpura oranges start giving yield within three to four years in the district.

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