Pakistan expects good pickings when it comes to citrus

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LONDON: The citrus growing areas of Pakistan have been largely left unscathed by floods; experts are of the view that this season will register a good harvest of the tasty and tangy fruit.
In Pakistan citrus fruits are the most important crop grown on the area of 160,000 hectares. Citrus fruit is grown in all four provinces of Pakistan but Punjab produces over 95 percent of the total crop because of favourable conditions and adequate water supply.
Citrus is divided into different categories: oranges, mandarin, grapefruit, lemon and lime are grown commercially. Kinnow also known as the mandarin is mainly grown in Punjab. Pakistan is the sixth largest producer of oranges in the world. The kinnow season starts in November and ends in March, a longer season than any other citrus variety.
According to a leading Pakistan fruit cultivator Harvest Tradings, the soil and climatic conditions in Pakistan give the ‘kinnow’ a unique flavor which distinguishes it from other comparable citrus varieties grown elsewhere. The company operates in Sargodha District and produces kinnow as well as other varieties such as early fruiter, musammi.
Sources in the Commercial wing of Pakistan High Commission said the country produced 2.1 million tones of citrus last year. However, crop for the current season is estimated to be ten to fifteen percent less, though the average fruit size is expected to be bigger and the crop cultivated healthier.