FARMERS’ earnings in Muheza District, Tanga Region are likely to fall sharply due to unidentified disease that is attacking oranges.
Two large-scale orange growers in Muheza district identified as Almasi Sylvester and Mbwana Jumaa told the ‘Daily News’ that the disease caused the price decline impacting into orange growers’ income.
“Due to unknown disease that affects the products the prices have dropped rapidly three times of its real prices regardless of its type and many of us have incurred heavy losses,” said Sylvester.
Last season one orange of Msasa and Nairobi types in wholesale price were sold between 50/- and 60/- while Valencia type was sold between 100/- and 150/-.
“Of the species, Valencia is the most valuable orange than Msasa and Nairobi that made its prices to be higher,” he said.
They said the three species of oranges grown in the district namely Valencia, Msasa and Nairobi can be harvested between 3-4 months while Valencia is the long term type that can be yielded between 8-9 months.
The reliable markets for oranges grown in Muheza are in Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Morogoro, Mbeya, Sumbawanga and Northern zone regions while abroad the product is sold in Kenya mostly in Mombasa and Nairobi town respectively.