Think about Indian coffee and you can picture the coffee estates in Coorg. But did you know that Coorg is also known for its Oranges? Today’s ‘Something Good’ is regarding these delicious fruits. Read on; you’ll know why.
Coorg Oranges or Coorg Mandarins are a man-made hybrid that is typical to that region because they were made using traditional methods.
However, in recent years, Coorg Mandarins have slowly decreased in yield. There are many reasons: Disease, popularity of Nagpur Oranges, devastation due to floods and landslides, losses to growers, falling prices, pest attacks etc. As a result, the yield of each plant has come down to around 10kg, which was once more than 50kg.
But here’s the good news.
The Department of Horticulture took up the task of reviving this indigenous fruit. It produced and distributed over 54,000 orange saplings for planting. These saplings had been produced at State-run horticulture farms across Coorg, aka, Kodagu.
“We have set a target of increasing the crop size by at least 10% a year. The department has eight farms where the saplings of Kodagu oranges were carefully produced to expand its area of cultivation. Kodagu’s climatic condition is unique and the oranges grown here come with a lot of pulp and also taste good,” said Shashidhar, Deputy Director of Horticulture, Madikeri.
Coorg oranges are man-made hybrids of oranges. Greenish-yellow in color, they have a tight skin and a sweet-sour taste, unlike Nagpur oranges which are sweeter on the tongue. Coorg oranges have a longer shelf life compared to their rivaled siblings. The hilly terrain, well-drained soil, and heavy rainfall in the region all give impetus to the unique characteristics of this variety.
It’s sad that the area of cultivation has come down over the years to less than 2,000 hectares and the yield has also been falling because of climate change.
The silver lining though is a subsidy offered to growers to boost the cultivation of the fruit. After all, it’s not for nothing that Coorg Oranges have been given Geographical Indication (GI) status.