SINDHULI, Oct 29: Sweet orange, the famous fruit of Sindhuli district, has become costlier this year, with traders selling it for Rs 90 to Rs 120 per kilogram. The best price last year was Rs 50.
Moreover, the fruit has started to arrive at the market a month earlier than the usual time. The fruit generally ripens by the end of November.
With the operation of BP Highway passing through Sindhuli, orange produced in the district is getting good price in markets of Kathmandu and elsewhere.
However, so far it has mainly benefitted the traders who put big profit margin on the price they pay the farmers. The farmers are yet to receive direct and proper benefits.
Farmers sell oranges to the traders at Rs 30 to Rs 40. Those who sell along the roadside of BP Highway sell sweet oranges at random price.
The traders put big profit margin and sell at double price in the market, according to Krishna Gautam, vice president of Sweet Orange Development Association Sindhuli.
Sitaram Thapa, a farmer from former Ratanchura VDC, said: “If we work hard for four months, we can earn good amount from sweet orange.”
The orange traders have started selling raw oranges along the highway in places such as Khaniya Kharka and Sola Bhanjyang.
Though most of the rural municipalities of Sindhuli district have suitable environment for sweet orange farming, it is mainly done places such as Jalkanya, Tinkanya, Baseshwar, Majhuwa, Bitijor, and Bhuwaneshwari.
Farmers expect the production to go up this year because of favorable climate.