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Introduction and Importance:

Citrus cultivars are grown in varying quantities in countries with tropical or sub tropical climate. Citrus stands first in area and production among the worlds tree fruits. In Pakistan also, citrus fruits are the most important fruit crops grown on the area of 160,000 hectares with production of 1.5 MMT annually. Citrus fruit is grown in all four provinces of Pakistan but Punjab produces over 95% of the crop because of its greater population, favorable growing conditions and adequate water. Citrus is divided into different groups Sweet oranges, Mandarine, Grape fruit, Lemon and Lime which are being grown commercially.

Area and Production of Citrus in Pakistan

Year Punjab Sindh NWFP Balochistan Pakistan
1985-86 141.9 3.8 3.4 0.6 149.7
1986-87 145.6 3.8 3.5 0.6 153.5
1987-88 150.6 3.8 3.7 0.7 158.8
1988-89 161.9 4.0 3.6 0.7 170.2
1989-90 162.8 4.0 3.6 0.7 171.1
5-Years'Avg: 152.6 3.9 3.6 0.7 160.7
1990-91 164.8 4.1 3.7 0.7 173'.3
1991-92 167.2 4.1 3.8 1.1 176.2
1992-93 166.8 4.2 3.9 1.3 176.2
1993-94 175.2 4.1 4.0 1.7 185.0
1994-95 180.7 4.1 4.1 1.8 190.7
5-Years'Avg: 171.0 4.1 3.9 1.3 180.3
1995-96 183.3 4.2 4.2 1.9 193.6
1996-97 183.8 4.2 4.4 2.0 194.4
1997-98 185.4 4.1 4.6 2.0 196.1
1998-99 186.1 4.1 4.7 2.1 197.0
1999-00 186.8 4.0 4.8 2.1 197.7
5-Years'Avg: 185.1 4.1 4.5 2.0 195.8
2000-01 187.6 3.9. 4.8 2.4 198.7
2001-02 183.2 4.1 4.5 2.4 194.2
1985-86 1368.4 34.2 28.6 2.8 1434.4
1986-87 1400.4 34.4 29.0 3.3 1467.1
1987-88 1342.7 34.7 30.4 3.5 1411.3
1988-89 1494.6 36.0 30.4 4.1 1565.1
1989-90 1506.7 34.7 30.4 4.5 1576.3
5-Years'Avg: 1422.6 34.8 29.8 3.6 1490.8
1990-91 1538.5 34.8 31.1 4.7 1609.1
1991-92 1554.2 35.3 32.7 7.6 1629.8
1992-93 1585.9 35.8 33.3 10.3 1665.3
1993-94 1766.7 35.3 34.3 13.1 1849.4
1994-95- 1847.3 35.2 34.6 15.7 1932.8
5-Years'Avg: 1658.5 35.3 33.2 10.3- 1737.3
1995-96 1872.3 35.1. 35.8 16.3 1959.5
1996-97 1913.1 35.0 37.4 17.1 2002.6
1997-98 1946.5 35.1 38.3 17.1 2037.0
1998-99 1769.2 35..2 39.4 17.7 1861.5
1999-00 1859.2 32.7 39.7 11.6 1943.2
5-Years'Avg: 1872.1 34.6 38.1 16.0 1960.8
2000-01 1780.8 30.9 40.2 13.6 1865.5
2001-02 1751.0 28.1 37.5 13.7 1830.3

To convert hectares into acres multiply by 2.4711.

Major Citrus Growing Areas in Pakistan:
Punjab: Distt. Sargodha, Sahiwal, Lahore, Sialkot, Jhang, Minwali, Multan, Gujranwala
NWFP: Mardan, Peshawer, Swat, Swabi, Noshera, Hazzara
Sind: Sukkur, Khairpur, Nawabshah
Baluchistan: Mekran, Sibi and Kech.

Following are the main commercial varieties:
Sweet Orange: Succri,. Mausami, Washington Navel, Jaffa, Red Blood, Ruby Red and
Valencia Late.
Mandarines: Feutrells Early and Kinnow
Grape Fruit: Mash Seedless, Duncan, Foster and Shamber
Lemon: Eureka, Lisbon Lemon and rough Lemon
Lime: Kaghzi Lime and Sweet Lime

All the improved varieties are propagated by means of budding on rough lemons or sour orange. Rootstocks are generally grown through seed, T budding/T grafting are the usual method of citrus cultivars propagation. Budding may be done during spring (Feb-March) and autumn (August-October) when bark slip freely from both scion and stock. Bud should be selected from mature wood of productive and healthy trees. In sweet lime propagation through cutting is a common method.

Soil and Climate:
Citrus trees can be grown on a wide range of soils, including deep sandy loam, loam and clay loam. However, they do not grow well in very heavy, clayey, sandy, and alkaline or water logged soils. Citrus fruits trees are grown in tropical and sub-tropical climate. Temperature is the main factor affecting, time of blooming, maturity, producing and fruit quality of citrus.

At the time of transplanting the top portion should be balanced with the roots by removing some of the leaves, if necessary. Annual pruning is done to remove dried, diseased and those branches overcrowding the top of the tree. For a young citrus tree to have good frame work, no branches should be allowed on the main stem and two to four evenly spaced main limbs should be selected to provide balanced frame work. In Pakistan however, no systematic pruning is followed except for removal of dried, diseased and unwanted twigs.

Water Management:
The preferred method of irrigation is a basin round each tree the size of. There should be channels connecting basins so that irrigation of fruits trees can be independent of the intercropped area between the tree lines which have different water requirements. Growth sensitive periods to water shortage are flowering time (Feb/Mar), fruit setting (Apr/May).

Fertilizers and Manures :

  • Apply FYMs at the rate of 40 to 80 kg per tree during the winter season in Dec/Jan before flowering
  • Apply 3-4 kg SSP and 1.5 to 2 kg of Urea 15-20 days (Jan/Feb) febore flowering
  • Supply a further amount of Urea of 1.5 kg per tree after fruit setting (Mar/Apr)
  • If necessary 1.5 kg of Potassium Sulphate may be applied at the time of applying FYM
  • Watering is essential after each application of fertilizer

Pests and Diseases

These are small brown colored insects. They suck the sap from the leaves and branches and cause great damage to trees and reduction of yield. Aphid attack is severe during Feb and April. Use Dizenon 40% or Eldrine 20%, 1 kg in 450 litres of water. Insecticides should not be applied within 6 weeks of marketing the fruit.

Citrus Leaf Minor:
This attacks the leaves. the attacked leaves become curled and deformed. If causes great losses in growth and yield. Use Malathion 57 or Matasystox 50% at the rate of 500 grams in 450 litres of water per acre for its control.

Lemon Butterfly:
This also attacks fresh leaves. It can be controlled effectively by using Malathion and Metasystox.

Citrus Whitefly:
This attacks the fruits and causes great losses in yield and quality. This pest can also be controlled by using Malathion 57%. This should not be applied within 6 weeks of marketing the fruit.

Red Scales:
These are sucking types of insects and cause great damage to Kinnow and sweet oranges in Punjab. They can survive throughout the year. Use Parathion or Malathion at the rate of 752 grams in 450 litres of water per acre for its effective control.

Root Rot:
This is a fungus which attacks the root of the trees. Its attack is severe in poorly drained soils. The affected tree gradually dries up. Remove the soil from around the affected trees without damaging the roots and improve on farm drainage for its effective control.

This disease is caused by nutritional deficiencies. The branches and fruits of the affected trees start drying and the tree becomes uneconomical to maintain. Apply a balanced dose of Bordeaux Mixture 450 after cutting affected branches from the trees.

Citrus Canker:
This is a bacterial disease. It attacks leads and the fruits. It forms canker like spots on the leaves and stems of the fruit causing great reduction in yield and quality of the fruit. There is no effective treatment for this disease except to cut and remove the affected trees and spray Formaldehyde at the spots from where the diseased trees have been removed.

Picking of citrus fruits is done almost throughout the year. The fruit should be picked when it is fully ripe. It will not develop taste or sugar in storage after picking. The best method is to pick the individual fruit by holding it in one hand and cutting the stalk with a knife and collecting it into boxes or baskets to avoid injury to the stem. The average yield expected from different types of fruits in various species are 500 to 1000 fruit per tree.

Pakistan is blessed with a climate ideally suited to the farming of all kinds of fruits - rich in taste and juicy. Farmers have been developing new varieties of fruit by grafting one exotic variety with other.

Season of Kino in Pakistan starts from December and last till April. Kinnow is very delicious in taste and if treated with proper fungicide and wax and careful handing and storage of Kinnow at about 4 Degree Centigrade can retain it's freshness until 2 months.

Pakistan is one of the few countries in the world where some of the varieties of fruits grown in cool temperate climate such as apples, pears, plums and cherries while in warm temperate climate such as apricots, grapes, pomegranates and melon and in tropical and subtropical climate such as bananas, mangoes, dates, guava and citrus so the fruits are usually available throughout the year.

Nature has blessed Pakistan with ideal climate for growing a wide range of delicious fruits and large varieties of vegetables. Over the years, Pakistani experts have developed unique stains of exotic fruit varieties unmatched for their rich flavor and taste. From the selection of the finest fruits grown, a reasonable quantity is processed and properly packed for sales and consumption in local market and exporting abroad.

Pakistan exported 268,741 tones of fruits worth US$ 79.83 million during 2000-01, while the export of vegetables stood at $22.50 million. Out of the total exports of fruits and vegetables the share of mangoes was 53,443 tonnes valuing $16.54 million, showing an increase of 43 per cent over the 1999-00.

Agriculture is the main contributor to GDP either directly or indirectly in the form of agro-based industries. The production of fruits and vegetables is not fully utilized and after their domestic consumption a major part is wasted due to lack of infrastructure, storage and processing facilities. The wastage quantity can be utilized by just streamlining and regulating the system from grower to export markets.

Pakistan produces large varieties of mangoes, its production has increased from 908 thousand tonnes in 1995-96 to 937 thousand tonnes in 1999-00. World production of mangoes stood at 19 million tons in 1995, which rose to 23.8 million tonnes in 1999, registering an increase of 24.75 per cent over the five years. Philippines and China have achieved much over 100 per cent increase in mango production during that period. Thailand is another country, which has also registered a significant increase. Rise in Pakistan's annual mango production during 1995-99 is only 3.4 per cent. Our share in global mango production in 1999 is 3.8 per cent.

Beside mangoes, Pakistani kinoos and apples are also in great demand in the international market. Balochistan produces about 480,000 tones of apples annually but only 3,000 tones were exported last year. About 30 per cent apples wasted every year in Balochistan only. Recently the government has given approval for the establishment of treatment plant in Quetta. While two plants are about to start working in Karachi. It is estimated that after starting of these treatment plants export of apples would be increased to about 20,000 tons per annum. There are good investment opportunities for the private sector to establish processing units near the fruits and vegetable growing areas. This would not only prevent wastage but would also help to earn foreign exchange.

There are also bright prospects for exporting fruit juices and pulps. By establishing modern plants, Pakistan can earn foreign exchange three times more than that being earned by export of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Sunny winters in Pakistan yield a large variety of citrus fruits. The juicy kinno is a unique hybrid of two varieties of California Oranges. It has a soft skin which is easy to peel and has a lovely fragrance.

Pakistan is fortunate in having great diversity in its soil and in its ecological and climatic conditions, ranging from extremely warm to temperate, to very cold. This enables the country to grow many kinds of trees, plants, shrubs, vines and creepers which yield a large variety of fruits and vegetables.

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