English | Dzongkha Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Orange growers fall victim to citrus greening

Nov 21, 2010

The highly destructive bacterial disease is wiping out most of the orange crop in Sarphu village under Darla Geog, Chhukha Dzongkhag, causing great concern among the many orchard owners.

Citrus greening is also known as Huanglongbing. It is a bacteria transmitted by a fly that thrives on the leaves of the orange trees.

The blight has already caused extensive damage to orange crops in the village. Small Psyllids are bringing unwelcome visitors to citrus crops leading to the destruction of orange trees.

Psyllids are the host organism that carries bacterium from tree to tree, spreading the disease.

Our reporter Surja Maan Thapa says that the dying orange trees are now being used as firewood for the villagers.

“Orange was the main source to earn some cash for living. Now, with the invasion of citrus greening all our orange trees are dying. We don’t know what to do”, said Sahib Sing, a Tsogpa in Darla Geog.

Some of the farmers say that, they are facing difficult in earning cash income. However, as an alternative, villagers have now started raising cattle to earn cash. Orange was the main cash crops for the people of Sarphu village prior to the incursion of the disease.

The invasion of citrus greening in the village has even forced some of the farmers to move from the village and work in other parts of the country as a manual labour at construction sites.

The occurrence of citrus greening disease was first noticed in 2002, the disease has now spread to about nine orange growing dzongkhags in the country.

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