Meghalaya capital Shillong hosts an orange festival

January 10th, 2009 - 7:49 pm ICT by ANI  

Shillong (Meghalaya), Jan.10 (ANI): Meghalaya capital Shillong recently played host to an orange festival to popularise the fruit in the region.
Organised by a self help group, the festival was aimed at encouraging farmers in the state to undertake orange cultivation.
Meghalaya currently produces 40,000 tons of oranges annually, which is about five percent of the country’’s total output of oranges.
Most of the oranges are grown in the Khasi Hills in areas bordering Bangladesh, and are known as “Khasi Mandarin”.
Farmers in the state are taking to cultivation of other crops after facing difficulties in the cultivation of oranges due to pests, diseases and a rough terrain.
Concerned by the decline in orange production, the festival provided a platform for farmers to interact with each other and learn new cultivation techniques.
Raphel Warjiri, one of the organisers of the festival said that farmers are concerned that despite the popularity of the “Khasi Mandarin” variety of orange, there has been a drop in production on a daily basis.
The festival also drew visitors in large numbers to look at the oranges and the other variants like orange jams, jellies and juices.
They also got a chance to feast on the various delicacies made from orange and took oranges for their friends living in other parts of the country.
“This is encouraging for all the people, especially to promote the oranges of our Khasi hills and this is quite famous I brought these oranges because I”m going to Pune on the 11th and I will share these oranges with my friends because the Khasi oranges are very famous all over India,” said R.P. Blah, a visitor.
The highlight of the festival was an orange eating competition, which attracted several enthusiasts.
The participating farmers also got an opportunity to interact with experts from Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the Indian Citrus Research (ICR) at a workshop organised during the festival on pest control and sustainable and systemized orchard management. (ANI)

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