MYAGDI, Nov 16: Most of the farmers in Rakhu of Beni Municipality have already received booking for oranges in their orchard even though harvest season is still one month away.
In the previous years, farmers used to receive booking only after mid-November. But this year, traders booked the oranges in mid-October itself. About 65 households of Rakhu village in Bhakimli in Beni-3 have already sold their oranges, local farmers say.
“Almost all the oranges in the village have already been booked,” Dek Bahadur Gharti Magar, a local farmer, told Republica. “We are very happy as we traders have offered us good price for our products.”
Earlier, farmers had to take orange to the markets themselves by hiring porters. Traders started reaching the village after construction of a road that links the village to Beni.
Local farmers say traders have offered them Rs 45 for a kilogram of 'A' and 'B' grade oranges, and Rs 25 per kilogram for grade 'C' oranges.
“Local traders like Kumari Pun and Raju Pun have offered us better prices than traders from another district,” said Kul Bahadur Garbuja, another farmer, said. “Many farmers had sold oranges to farmers before they were ready for harvest last year as well.”
Rakhu village had exported oranges worth Rs 3 million last year, according to Bir Bahadur Thapa, an orange farmer. “More than 90 percent of the oranges produced in our village get sold.”
Locals of Rakhu started orange farming after seeing growing demand for the fruit in other nearby villages and markets.
According to District Agriculture Development Office (DADO) Myagdi, the district produced 2,086 tons of oranges worth Rs 73 million last year.