• India
  • Oct 12

Explainer / Citrus fruits

• The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has signed an MoU with ICAR-Central Citrus Research Institute (ICAR-CCRI), Nagpur to promote exports.

• The MoU envisages promoting export by focussing on the creation of product-specific clusters along with the development of technologies by APEDA and ICAR-CCRI with a focus on efficient and precision farming.

• The collaboration would focus on diversifying the export basket, destinations and boosting high-value agricultural products exports through establishing Brand India globally. 

• Product development work comprises field digitisation, efficient quality control measures (sanitary and phytosanitary), development of organic farms. 

• APEDA and ICAR-CCRI would also organise capacity building for farmers, entrepreneurs, exporters and other stakeholders to promote agri-businesses and exports.

• The MoU also aims at developing an end-to-end sustainable value chain with APEDA to promote better consignment commitment to importing countries along with export promotion of Geographical Indication (GI) tagged Nagpur Orange and organic citrus products from Maharashtra.

Citrus fruits

• Orange, grapes, lemon, lime and pomelo are important types of citrus fruits. 

• Citrus fruits are notable for their fragrance, partly due to flavonoids and limonoids (which in turn are terpenes) contained in the rind, and most are juice-laden. The juice contains a high quantity of citric acid giving them their characteristic sharp flavour.

• Citrus fruits have long been valued as part of a nutritious and tasty diet. The flavours provided by citrus are among the most preferred in the world.

• Citrus fruits are a particularly good source of Vitamin C.

• The main energy-yielding nutrient in citrus is carbohydrate. Citrus contains the simple carbohydrates (sugars) fructose, glucose and sucrose, as well as citric acid which can also provide a small amount of energy.

• Citrus is grown in over 100 countries around the world. On a production basis, China tops the list, followed by Brazil. India and the US are also in the top producers list. 

• Commercial citrus fruits of the trade include sweet orange (Citrus sinensis Osbeck), Mandarin (Citrus reticulata Blanco), limes (Citrus aurantifolia Swingle), lemon (Citrus limon (L) Burm.f), grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf.) and pummelo (Citrus grandis (L.) Osbeck).

• Across the world, citrus is dominated by sweet oranges with a 64 per cent contribution followed by mandarins with 20 per cent, limes and lemons 10 per cent and rest of the 6 per cent contributed by grapefruit and other citrus fruits. 

Citrus cultivation in India

• In India, in terms of area under cultivation, citrus is the third largest fruit crop after Banana and Mango. 

• The average yield of citrus fruits in India is alarmingly low compared to other developed countries.

• Citrus cultivation in India is plagued with various problems due to limiting growing conditions, limiting water resources and high incidence of pests and diseases warranting great care from planting till the plants come to bearing in order to sustain a productive life of a minimum of 15-20 years. 

• There is growing interest/awareness among the citrus growers for adoption of the latest technologies for commercial cultivation of citrus.

• Mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata) is most common among citrus fruits grown in India. It occupies nearly 40 per cent of the total area under citrus cultivation in India. Other important commercial citrus species in India are sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) and acid lime (Citrus aurantifolia).

• Oranges are mostly grown in the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Odisha, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh.

• Indian citrus industry has certain unique features unlike China and Japan, where citrus is grown mainly in humid subtropical climate. 

• In India, both mandarins and sweet oranges are grown under tropical climatic conditions except Kinnow and Khasi mandarin. The famous Nagpur orange (mandarin) is grown in humid tropical Vidarbha region of Maharashtra where summer temperature reaches as high as 45-46 degrees Celsius.

• Arunachal mandarin orange, more commonly known as Wakro orange, has got GI tag.

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