Agriculture: With yields unusually high, orange orchard owners in Zhemgang enjoyed a bumper harvest this year.

Rinzin, 58, from Tshanglajong, said incomes from oranges tripled this year.

“I have 600 orange trees and sold my oranges for Nu 400,000,” he said. He added that he earned only Nu 150,000 in past years. “My hard work has been paid back this year.”

He said those who didn’t plant orange trees are regretful while those who did are enjoying higher incomes.

Nado Rinchen, 61, has only seven orange trees. However, he still expects oranges from the six trees to fill at least a DCM truck. Unlike other villagers here who have already sold their oranges, Nado is planning to take his oranges on his own to the auction yard. Usually exporters purchase the oranges directly from the orchards.

“I will buy some more from my neighbours and take it to the auction yard,” Nado Rinchen said. He added that some farmers also earned as much as Nu 600,000 from the sale of oranges.

Jatshola, 72, from Tingtibi said there was good fruit this year in his orchard. He usually earns around Nu 70,000 but got Nu 100,000 this year.

He said he once took his own oranges to the auction yard but it was not profitable, as he had to pay for transportation and accommodation. “It was always better to sell from the orchard to exporters,” he said.

Deki Yangzom, 43, from Goling under Nangjor gewog said she does not own a huge orange orchard but the yield is exceptionally good this year. She already sold them to one of her cousins for Nu 10,000. She usually earns around Nu 6,000 a year.

However, a few people who own orange orchards in Wangdigang said the yield is not good this year. Oranges started falling off the trees even before the harvest season. Insect infestations also affected the crop.

Nima Wangdi |  Tshanglajong