P3 citrus indstry B_optWHILE THE origin of citrus fruits cannot be exactly known, researchers trust that they began to appear in Southeast Asia at least 4000BC. Citrus has been reported to prevent liver, lungs and skin cancer and heart diseases. It is the best source of vitamin C, sugar, amino acids and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and iron. Pakistan is an important citrus producer across the globe. 10 per cent of the fruit is exported, 2 per cent is processed while 40 per cent lost in the post – harvest process and remaining 48 per cent is supplied to domestic markets. Currently, the Citrus industry of Pakistan is going through perilous circumstances resulting in low yield, low fruit setting and excessive fruit drop and leading to huge losses in citrus market. The most eminent constraints of the citrus industry in Pakistan are illustrated below followed by their respective remedies.

Most of the farmers have low land assets (60 per cent citrus growers have less than 5 ha). 70 per cent of the kinnow exporters and processors are also the growers. Their land holdings are small, so they get fruit for export from other orchards. Farmers are being relied on only one citrus cultivar i.e. Kinnow (Citrus reticulata Blanco) which has monopolized the citrus industry of Pakistan.

Citrus orchards productive life span of being less than 20-30 years paralleled to other citrus growing countries, where it may go up to more than 50 years. The reason behind this is the lack of attentiveness of the farmers for good agricultural practices and intercropping as food and feed security of the farming community.

The farmers do not understand the orchard as a creativity rather they took as a surplus crop in the field. So they are unable to gratify the need of kinnow crop at the time of requirement citrus grower in our country grow wheat, sorghum, maize, sugarcane, rice and cotton. These types of intercropping deplete the fertility of soil; tend to shade the tree, which interferes the growth and provide the shelter to the pests. The crops sown are also incompatible with the irrigation requirements. Along these lines, inter-cropping results in favorable conditions for disease and pest establishment which result in failure of citrus growth and yield.

At the height of 4-6 inches nursery collar rot (matrix distortion) is quite often seen with bleeding (gummosis) at matrix in the nursery. Equipments are not disinfected thats way fungal and viral infection quite happened in the orchard or in the field.

Plants are under nutritional stress when farmers are applying fertilizer in fewer amounts as compared to recommended. If they apply fertilizer accurate, variation of the time of application from farm to farm so trees of various sizes can be seen in the same orchard even though planted at the same time.

There are number of chewing pests which attack on citrus plants and cause severe damage to plants and fruit. A major role of insects in citrus industry is to decrease the production. They have ability to destroy the all orchards by sucking, chewing or by transmitting the diseases to Citrus plants.

Clippers are not used during harvesting and during harvesting due to which excessive loss of plant foliage occurs. Use of ladder for picking/harvesting is not a common practice in most of the citrus orchards in Pakistan.

Citrus fruits have imperfection on their skin which restricts export and imperfect fruits cannot be exported to foreign countries. Damage of citrus fruit skin also occurs due to packing in wooden crates.


New cultivars of citrus and mandarin should be introduced to expand the production. In the export market Seedless cultivars have more demand, so the seedless mandarins should be introduced to bring a good price in international market. Awareness seminars and Farmer trainings about post-harvest and advanced production technology should be conducted in citrus growing farmer communities. It is very important that we should train the farmer about the harvesting of citrus fruits (especially mandarins). There should be a Quick transport in order to maintain the quality with minimum damage during transportation is very important for successful marketing of the produce. Farmers should be trained to apply modern fungicides and insecticides to improve the quality (cosmetic look) of kinnow. Citrus orchard should not inter cropped and it is strongly condemned. Citrus production can be increased through nurseries run on a scientific and professional basis.

The writers are associated with Department of Plant Pathology, University of Agriculture Faisalabad.

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