By Thakur Prasad Acharya, Myagdi, Nov. 30: Baskuna village at Beni Municipality-4 in Myagdi district has been renamed as an orange village for all 25 households of the village have been doing commercial orange farming giving up paddy plantation and each of the household earns up to seven lakh rupees annually by selling oranges.
At this season of orange ripening, Baskuna offers a pleasant view of orange garden with ripe fruits.
Some 20,000 orange trees have been planted by 70 households of Baskuna, Tham Danda and Surkemela and of the total about 10,000 orange trees have started yielding fruits.
The farmers here have established a cooperative, Baskuna Agriculture Cooperative, for marketing of the oranges and arrangement of training.
The farmers sell their products through the cooperative while the cooperative fixes orange prices every year.
Tilak Gurung, chairperson of the cooperative, said that merchants come to the village to purchase the orange. "Oranges are sold from the trees."
He said that oranges worth of some four million rupees were sold last year. He estimated that the income from sale of orange for the village would be less this year by half a million rupees as orange production this year was hit by some kind of disease that forces orange fruit to fall before being ripe.
The cooperative has fixed price of the A grade orange at Rs. 65 a kg.
Gurung said he had planted 700 orange trees in his 19 ropani of land and half of the trees have started to yield fruits.
Sandip Khatri, a farmer, said that he sold his oranges from the trees this year for Rs. 650,000.
Farmer Gurung said that with the introduction of Orange Zone programme under the Prime Minister Agriculture Modernisation Project in the area, there had been assistance for irrigation, training and technology for the farmers.
Farmers here have been imparted training on ways to manage orange garden with modern technology, plantation of sapling and methods to produce tasty oranges.
Sudhir Sharma, chief of Prime Minister Agriculture Modernisation Project, said that the Orange Zone Programme in the district had been providing assistance for marketing and mechanization for the orange production in the area.