Published On : Thu, Dec 21st, 2017

Krishi Kranti Sanghatan, orange growers demand to re-start orange processing unit

Nagpur: The Krishi Kranti Sanghatan and the orange growers of Vidarbha region have demanded, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, MP Krupal Tumane, MLA Dr Ashish Deshmukh to keep their promises and restart the orange project which is just gathering dust and along with it also set up a cold storage. The orange growers expect that the oranges of this region get a new life.

It may be recalled that the orange project was started by the BJP and Shiv Sena alliance government 1996-97 and inaugurated with great pomp and show by Manohar Joshi the then Chief Minister . But within three year only it closed. During the Lok Sabha and after that the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly elections the Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the election meetings of Sena candidate Krupal Tumane at Sharada Chowk and Dr Ashish Deshmukh in Katol had assured to restart the orange project, to get fair price for the orange growers crops and there rights, once they come to power. Now nearly three years have passed but there is no ray of hope.

Ambiya Bahar vanishing
There was a time when in the Saoner district’s Katol, Narkhed, Mohpa, Kondhali, Kalmeshwar, Wardha district’s Karanja, Arvi, Ashti, Talegaon, Amravati districts Warud Morshi, Shendurjanghat and other tehsils they had two fruiting seasons Ambiya and Mrug. Due to the nature not favouring, Ambiya Bahar crop is vanishing while the Mrug crop is also not in good condition. In world famous districts of orange, the crop is not bumper and there has been a fall in the quality too. Presently, the condition is such that the orange trees are either drying or a damaged due to pests. There are efforts to give compensation for the loss of orange crop but no solid steps have been taken to stop the destruction of orange trees or increase the crop. In district the crop is on total 23 to 500 hectare of land. If the orange units are started in the orange growing districts the orange growers will benefit like the Western Maharashtra which has sugar mills and grape units.

Private units not sufficient
In orange growing districts there is no processing unit and that’s the biggest tragedy. The orange cultivators have to sell their produce in the Agriculture Produce Market. Some private units have been trying to make jams and jellies with the help of some orange growers. Compared to the oranges grown the private units are not sufficient. It is necessary to have a cooperative processing unit.

Oranges get third place
In DongargaonMIDC, an orange processing unit was started with great difficulty but that to closed down and now it remain just a white elephant. In the country orange is placed in third in order. First comes mangoes, then Bananas and last orange. To improve the condition of the farmers so many schemes are being implemented but in the last 23 years the public representatives could not think of scheme for orange growers with which their financial condition could improve. Whatever was there that too has closed for past 23 years. Now the cultivators are refusing to grow oranges as they do not get back the money spent on the crop.

In processing unit small oranges can also be used for making juice.

Dreams just remains a dream
The government has been buying land at very cheap rate from farmers and giving it to big units while farmers are left high dry. It may be mentioned that the orange processing plant was inaugurated by the then Chief Minister Manohar Joshi and the farmers were given high hopes that in this processing plant Tomato, Mango, Sweet Lime will be processed, besides this vegetables too. Here thousands of youths would get jobs. The bhoomi-pujan of building was done by two chief ministers, the construction work was completed then the processing also started but in 1996-1997 the processing unit set up with Rs 256 crores closed down due to wrong planning and policies. Assurance were given during the Lok Sabha and Assembly election meetings that the processing unit would be started within a year but nothing came up and now it still remains closed. Due to this the cultivators will now have to knock the doors of court to start this unit.