Citrus are the fruits belonging to the Rutacease family and mostly from the genus Citrus which are usually mix of sweet and acidic fruits. They are widely cultivated fruits in the world with areas under cultivation and production increasing greatly from 2000 - 2010. Citrus is ranked world number 21st in Pakistan with respect to its area and production among fruits. There is a huge demand from both the fresh and processed oranges by the consumer.
According to FAO, Brazil is the largest producer of citrus in the world, followed by China and USA, data for Pakistan is not available. In Pakistan, it is cultivated its 95% area of cultivation is in Punjab because of favorable temperature and environmental conditions and the total production according to approx. 1.8 annually on an estimated area of 194,000ha with the per acre yield standing at 4.6 tons.
IMPORTANCE AND USES:
1. Sweet orange, mandarin and grapefruit are eaten fresh or processed for squash (sweetened fruit juice) and juice preparation.
2. Lemon and lime are acidic in nature and largely used in preparation of culinary products such as pickles and for flavoring food items. They are also processed for juice, squash and lemonade.
3. Citrus fruits are a rich source of sugar, citric acid and vitamin C, and they possess valuable medicinal properties, being used in the prevention of colds and malaria and to promote blood coagulation.
MAJOR CITRUS GROWING AREAS IN PAKISTAN
Districts of Sargodha, Jhang, Sahiwal, Lahore, Multan, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Mianwali
Districts of Sukkur, Nawabshah, Khairpur
Peshawar, Mardan, Swat, Hazzara, Nowshera, Swabi
Sibbi, Makran, Kech
CITRUS SPECIES BEING CULTIVATED IN PAKISTAN
1. Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macfad.)
Local Varieties: Mash Seedless, Duncan, Foster and Shamber
2. Mandarin (Citrus reticulata Blanco)
Local Varieties: Fuetrells Early and Kinnow
3. Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck)
Local Varieties: Mausami, Washington Navel, Succri, Red Blood, Jaffa, Ruby Red and Valencia Late.
4. Bitter Orange (Citrus aurantium L.)
Also called, Seville orange, Sour Orange, Marmalade orange or bigarade orange
5. Lime (Citrus aurantifolia (Christm.) Swingle)
Also called, Key Lime, Bartender's lime, Omani lime or West Indian lime
Local Varieties: Sweet Lime and Kaghazi Lime
6. Lemon (Citrus Limon (L.) Burm. f.)
Local Varieties: Eureka and Lisbon Lemon
7. Rough Lemon (Citrus jambhiri Lush.)
It is the most common rootstock for propagation of citrus in the subcontinent.
8. Kinnow (It is a Hybrid of Citrus nobilis and Citrus deliciosa)
It was first developed at the Citrus Research Center at the University of California in 1935 and then Punjab Agriculture College and Research Institute Faisalabad (then, Lyallpur) Pakistan, introduced it in the sub-continent in 1940.
It is a very famous citrus plant knows for delicious juicy fruit. Environmental and soil conditions are ideal for kinnow in Punjab. Hence the kinnow is a prime export fruit of Pakistan which is in great demand due to its juicy, soft, scented and refreshing fruit not found anywhere else in the world. Seedless kinnow is also very popular.
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