Citrus greening is affecting the mandarin orchards of Norbugang in Nganglam, Pemagatshel district. Farmers say the declining orange crop yield has been palpable even before 2015. Four villages in Norbugang in Nganglam have been considered orange pocket areas, according to the villagers. These areas are currently facing problems and trees are seen gradually dying.
Farmers said that everyone has started growing cardamom, ginger and vegetables on a commercial scale after orange production collapsed. “We cannot rely only on oranges because the production decreases year after year,” said a villager from Gashari.
One Agriculture Extension Officer said that poor maintenance of orchards and citrus greening is the main cause of orange trees falling every year: “Lack of water and nutrients have affected the orange plants in the gewog and has led to falling production. The farmers have not maintained their orchards properly.”
He said that, in collaboration with the agriculture research development centre (ARDC) in Wengkhar in Mongar and Bajo in Wangdue, they have started programs to improve and promote orange production.