Analysis

Chinese citrus fly taking toll on sweet orange farming in Sindhuli

Nabin Babu Adhikari

fly

Sindhuli is a pocket area for junar (sweet orange) production. But an insect named bactrocera minax (Chinese citrus fly) has been taking toll on the fruit farming.

Protein hydrolysate is widely used to destroy the insect. But the farmers are lacking it. “Use of protein hydrolysate is very much effective in destroying the inset. Until the Nepali month of Chaitra, protein hydrolysate mixed with pesticides is sprinkled around the leaves of one of the three surrounding orange plants. Insects get attracted to the hydrolysate, eat it and get killed.

There is a need to buy required protein hydrolysate in coordination with local and provincial governments,” said the Junar Super Zone chief and senior agriculture officer Dev Raj Adhikari.

Fifty milliliters of the liquid of protein hydrolysate is needed for three sweet orange plants. Anything between 1166.62 to 1399.44 milliliters of the hydrolysate is needed to cover one ropanis of the cultivation, said agriculture technicians. Anything between Rs 2400 to Rs 2800 is needed to purchase protein hydrolysate for one ropanis of the farming.

Adhikari said a monitoring is being carried out to find ways to destroy the insect after providing training to farmers. “Technical skills are being used to control the insect. But managerial task is lacking.”

Last year protein hydrolysate was used covering 800 ropanis of the plantation, costing Rs 2 million, which helped to reduce insects-caused loss to 10 percent this year from 55 percent earlier. The farmers had to incur the destruction of 275 metric tonnes of the oranges by insects. This year the loss has been largely reduced to 75 metric tonnes, thanks to the use of protein hydrolysate.

More than 800 ropanis of lands are being cultivated for the farming in the district including in Kuvinde, Upper Kuvinde, Tamaure, Ranikhola and Kirate. “This year, we have been able to save 200 metric tonnes of the fruit from the insect. The farmers have been able to make a profit of additional Rs 12 million,” said Adhikari.

He said the hydrolysate should be managed within the Nepali month of Magh, adding that up to Rs 40 million is required to purchase it to cover the super zone area. It is imported only from China.

The process is on to buy protein hydrolysate, said ward chair of Golanjor Rural Municipality-4 Beg Bahadur Magar.
To buy protein hydrolysate, 50 percent of the amount will be borne by the super zone, 25 percent by respective ward or rural municipality and the remaining 25 percent by the farmers themselves.

Sindhuli is famous for sweet orange farming. To encourage farmers and promote the farming, the government has declared the district the super zone, and a branch has been also set up to implement the Prime Minister Agricultural Modernization Project.

Sindhuli is an area having the potentiality for the export of this fruit. Farmers, farmers’ groups and cooperatives are active here since the past to promote its farming. The government recently has implemented the Junar Super Zone programme under the Prime Minister Agricultural Modernisation Project. The then Tinkanya, Ratanchura, Basheshwor, Jalaknya, Bhuwaneshwori, Mjhuwa and Bitijor are major areas of Junar cultivation.

Need of timely intervention for controlling Chinese citrus fly
The Chinese citrus fly, Bactrocera minax, one of the most destructive citrus pest in many citrus production areas in China, has already entered Nepal. The pest originated in China entered Nepal from the eastern hills via Bhutan and Sikkim. The fly can fly long distance.

The presence of this pest is estimated to be disastrous for junar cultivation if elaborate measures were not sought on time for its management. Its eggs and pupas are relatively larger in size than flies of other classes. The junar fruits infected by this pest are relatively lighter than those unaffected. This pest has one-year life cycle. RSS

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