Jharsuguda: Negating the general idea that Maharashtra’s Nagpur area only dictates terms in orange farming, a farmer of nondescript Jammal village under Laikera block in this district has been successful in cultivating the fruit at par with the out-of-Odisha brand.
Meet Subhar Budula, who has a fruitful orange farming, on an acre of land with 80 trees. He has been adopting the biotic means of manure for nourishing those trees.
Earlier, Subhar used to grow chilly in this acre of land. But, he made up his mind to cultivate something new in 2015. He consulted Laikera-based Horticulture officials and they encouraged him to proceed by providing him with the orange saplings. In that very year, he planted 80 orange seedlings in that acre of land. His enterprising spirit bore fruit after five years and now he is reaping benefit from the produce.
In his reactions, orange cultivator Subhar Budula said, “We are here into orange farming in an acre of land and 80 trees grown. The officials of Laikera Horticulture Department motivated me. They provided me with the saplings.”
“I don’t use any fertilizers. I fed the trees with manure. I’m earning profit. Each sold for Rs 50 at Bamra market,” beamed Subhar.
His daughter-in-law Muni Budula informed, “We started this orange farming in 2015. We had no idea on it. The Horticulture officials made us know. The trees have started bearing fruit since 2019. This year, the trees have yielded more. We haven’t yet used fertilizers except manure.”
“We wish other farmers also try out this farming like us and flourish in life,” she appealed.
Fellow villager Shiblal Toppo said, “We used to cultivate chilly earlier. Now we have changed to orange farming. Initially, we were in doubt if the saplings of Horticulture Department would work or not. But, we’re happy now.”
“Each tree is yielding about one to one and half quintal of oranges. Each fruit is being sold at Rs 50. Looking at the trees, fruit and its sweetness, we are elated now. If such a favourable situation supports the farmers, progress and prosperity is a must,” commented Shiblal.
Horticulture official Brahmakumari Mousumi Sarpatia said, “Under the Mahatma Gandhi Karma Niyukti Yojana, we had for the first time provided orange saplings to the farmers. The farmer has been into this farming for the last five years. In the beginning there had been a bit less amount of fruit, but now more. The Government extended full support then. Now they are managing it themselves.”
She added, “It is being found that the farmers are earning profit. Whatever fruit farming we do, like mango, lichi, etc, our climate of Laikera and Jharsuguda district is suitable for that, even the climate of western Odisha. But, we have to be cautious of certain sides, like irrigation facility and nutrine management, particularly micro nutrient so that the sweetness of the fruit increases. Potash should also be sprayed on the plants. The liquid formulation can be sprayed while the dust formulation can be added to the soil.”
She also said, “Every farmer can earn Rs 500-1000 from a tree per annum. Gradually, the income will increase with the growth of the tree and bearing of more fruit.”
“In our district and especially in our block, mango was grown. In course of time, farmers switched over to cashew, pomegranate besides this orange. We are planning to encourage our farmers for growing ata (sugar apple) as demand is growing. This soil is suitable for ata fruit. Also this soil can support apple farming as new variety is available now that can bear with our temperature. Once a fruit tree is planted, the farmers will earn like pension after three years.
Also, the farmers have to do less labour in comparison to growing seasonal vegetables and greens. Only the first year of fruit tree plantation requires hard labour while with the growth of the tree, the farmers only need to take care of the nutrine management. If done so, a farmer can also earn up to Rs 2000 from a tree per annum. Thus from an acre, a farmer can earn to a tune of lakh of rupees per annum,” the horticulturist elaborated.