By Spy Uganda
Commercial orange farming is not a new business idea. It’s a common agribusiness throughout the world. And people are growing this fruit for making profits from ancient times.
The orange originated in a region encompassing Southern China, Northeast India and Myanmar. As of 1987, orange trees were found to be the most cultivated fruit tree in the world.
Orange trees are generally grown widely in tropical and subtropical climates for their sweet fruits.
How To Start Orange Farming Business
Starting a commercial orange farming business is very easy. Here we are trying to describe more information about starting and operating this business from planting, caring to harvesting and marketing.
Select Good Location
First of all, select a very good location for starting your orange farming business. Orange trees are generally grown in a wide range of soils ranging from sandy loam or alluvial soils.
Deep soils with a pH range of 5.5 to 7.5 are considered ideal for orange farming. Although, orange plants can also be grown in a pH range of 4.0 to 9.0.
Adequate sunlight and availability of water is a must for growing orange plants, and also for having good production.
You have to prepare the land perfectly for having good production. Perfect land preparation is the key to the successful orange farming business.
Land should be ploughed, cross ploughed and levelled before planting. Terrace planting is done on hills. High-density planting is possible in hilly areas.
Add as many organic fertilizers as you can while preparing the land. Adding organic fertilizers is a must for good orange production.
Climate Requirement For Orange Farming
Orange trees grow successfully in all frost-free tropical and sub-tropical regions. Annual rainfall of 100-120cm, and temperature ranging from 10°C to 35°C is suitable for orange farming.
Choose The Right Variety/Cultivars
There are many varieties or cultivars of oranges available throughout the world. The main varieties are Common oranges, Navel oranges, Blood oranges, Acidless oranges and Hybrids.
Each of these varieties has numerous sub or similar varieties. Here we are listing the name of some popular common orange varieties.
After selecting the right variety for your business, you have to purchase plants from any of your nearest nurseries.
Orange plants are generally propagated by seeds and also vegetatively propagated by T-budding.
Seedlings are generally planted in the month of July-August after the commencement of monsoon. Orange plants are generally planted in pits of 0.5 m x 0.5 m x 0.5 m size in a square system with spacing of 4.5 meters to 6 meters accommodating 350-450 plants per hectare.
Spacing of 6 m x 6 m accommodating 120 plants per acre has been considered ideal for the present model.
Providing adequate fertilizers is very important for getting better production. For 1-3year old crops, apply well decomposed cowdung@10-30kg, Urea@240-720gm per tree.
For 4-7year old crops, apply well-decomposed cow dung@40-80kg, Urea@960-1680gm and SSP@1375-2400gm per tree. For eight years and above the crop, apply cowdung@100kg, Urea@1920gm and SSP@2750gm per Tree.
Apply the whole amount of cow dung during December month whereas applying Urea in two parts, apply first of Urea in February, and the second dose in April-May month. At the time of applying the first dose of Urea, apply the whole dose of SSP fertilizer.
If fruit drop is observed, to control excessive fruit drop, take spray of 2,4-D@10gm in 500Ltr of water. Take the first spray in March-end, then in April end. Repeat the spray in August and September end. If cotton is planted in a nearby field of citrus, avoid spraying of 2, 4-D, instead, take spray of GA3.
The water or irrigation requirement of the orange tree is very high due to its evergreen nature throughout the year. Although, the exact amount of water required depends upon the type of soil.
Adequate watering should be provided at the time of flowering, fruit set and fruit development stage.
Orange plants can’t tolerate waterlogging, so try to avoid waterlogging. And the water of irrigation should be free from salts.
Mulching not only helps to retain moisture but also helps to prevent weeds. You can use organic materials for mulching.
Weeds consume nutrients from the soil. So, it’s very important to control weeds. You can control weeds by hand-hoeing and also by chemically.
If you prefer the chemical method, use glyphosate at the are of 1.6 liter per 150 liter of water. Use glyphosate only on weeds, not on orange plants.
Pests & Diseases
Like many other crops, orange plants are also susceptible to some pests and diseases. Here we are trying to describe more about the common pests and diseases of the orange plants.
You can start harvesting when the fruits attain proper size, shape along with attractive color. Depending upon variety, fruits are generally ready for harvesting in Mid-January to Mid-February.
Timely harvesting is very important. Because too early or too late harvesting will give poor quality fruits. Harvesting is generally done by hand.