Written By: Ahmed Waleed
Sargodha, the well-known land of one of the best citrus growing areas in the world, offers a scenic view of huge orchards comprising variety of oranges. In Pakistan, juicy Kinnow is considered the king of all orange varieties. Pakistan exported 325,000 tonnes of Kinnow worth $200 million during 2014-15.
“Unfortunately, this year the exports are expected to remain 10 percent of the total yield of over 2 million tons against 15 percent the last year. The reason for steep in percentage is mainly because of the change in weather. Weather on extreme levels such as very hot and vise versa have reduced this year which ultimately marks a dent on the fruit’s production,” says Muhammad Qasim, Owner of Roshan’s Farms in Bhalwal, Tehsil city of Sargodha District. He revealed further that the Kinnow produced in Sargodha region has the longest shelf life of 45 days.
Qasim says an eight-year-old and up to 35 feet high Kinnow tree becomes highly productive and bears around 100-150 killograms of Kinnow fruit every year. It takes the fruit 10 months to ripe with full export-quality size. He says Kabul has also become a very attractive market of the respective fruit recently while the plus point includes that it takes lesser time for transportation comparatively Karachi due to an improved road network.
The best period of harvesting a perfect size of Kinnow is between mid-January and mid-February while coating the said fruit with commercial waxes can increase the shelf life up to 60 days.
Pakistani Kinnow is in high demand in Russia and other Central Asian states, Middle East, Far East, Bangladesh and some African countries. Whereas these days local markets have been flooded with various breeds of Kinnows with a mixture of sweet and sour taste.