Economy

Oranges: India ranks 64th in productivity

| Updated on December 04, 2011

Oranges

Orange is grown across the world in 41.96 lakh hectares with 684.75 lakh tonnes production which translates into 16.32 tonnes a hectare productivity according to FAO, 2009. It is the most commonly grown tree fruit in the world. Brazil is the world leader in orange production (176.18 lakh tonnes) contributing to 25.73 per cent of world tonnage followed by the US at 12.09 per cent (82.81 lakh tonnes), India at 7.60 per cent (52.01 lakh tonnes) and China at 7.10 per cent (48.65 lakh tonnes).

India is the third largest producer of orange in the world.

Although, India is second in area and third in production of orange in the world, the productivity/hectare is very low as compared to the US, Indonesia, Turkey and other countries where the crop is grown commercially.

In terms of productivity, India ranks 64th with only 9.23 tonnes a hectare.

Total export of orange from India during 2009-10 was 25.06 thousand tonnes (Rs 25.39 crore in value).

In terms of value, Bangladesh is a major importer contributing 84 per cent followed by Nepal contributing 12.08 per cent of total exports from India.

Other major importing countries include Kuwait, Oman, Singapore and the UK.

Cultivation

Oranges are mostly grown in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Rajasthan, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Karnataka.

The area under orange cultivation in India has increased by 125.77 per cent from 2.49 lakh hectares in 2001 to 5.63 lakh hectares in 2009 with 101.98 per cent increase in the production from 25.75 to 52.01 lakh tonnes during the same period.

Maharashtra is the leading orange (Mandarin) producing State with 8.27 lakh tonnes (2009-10) accounting for 40 per cent of total production and yield of 6 tonnes a hectare. Madhya Pradesh ranks second with production of 6.78 lakh tonnes followed by Assam (1.42 lakh tonnes). Karnataka is with the highest yield at 19.20 tonnes a hectare.

In India, specific cultivars of oranges are cultivated in different regions. For example, Coorg orange is typical to Coorg and Wayanad regions of Karnataka, whereas Nagpur orange is ideally suited for Vidarbha region.

Similarly, Darjeeling, Khasi and Sumithra oranges are basically adapted to Darjeeling, Khasi hills and Assam respectively.

Monsoon blossom which matures in February-March has great potential for export since arrivals of orangein international market are very less during this period.

Geographical Indication

Coorg orange grown in the Kodagu, Hassan and Chikmagalur districts of Karnataka is awarded Geographical Indication owing to its characteristics such as medium sized, fairly tight skinned orange yellow fruits having dark orange pulp, being tender, juicy with a rich flavour and excellent blend of acid and sugar.

Hilly terrains with well-drained soil having high rainfall in Coorg (Kodagu) and surrounding regions gives the specific taste, aroma and keeping quality to this particular cultivar.

It is unique to this particular regionand if it is grown in places other than Coorg, it loses that specific taste, aroma and keeping quality.

Nagpur orange is also under consideration for Geographical Indication.

Orange is rich in vitamin C, A, B and minerals.

It is consumed fresh or in the form of juice, jam, squash, gelatin and syrup and thus, has a high processing potential. It is also used as a flavouring agent/spice and is the main source of peel oil, citric acid and cosmetics which have international market value.

Oranges exported to Bangladesh and Nepal by trucks following traditional way of handling and packing without pre-harvest treatments or cooling.

For distant markets of Europe, the Gulf and South East Asia, export by refrigerated container ships is imperative.

According to specific market demand and careful post-harvest handling to retain most of natural qualities and freshness, play a key role in expanding exports.

Lack of storage and transportation facilities, post-harvest losses, costly packing material, inadequate and inefficient labour for packing work, high commission charges, delayed payments are the major constraints in the orange supply chain.

There is a need to ensure remunerative price to the orange producer and reduction in marketing cost.

Marketing of oranges on cooperative basis can help the farmers in getting higher prices for their produce by eliminating intermediaries.

Proper steps should be taken to link production, processing and marketing of oranges to avoid seasonal gluts.

Source: YES Bank

Published on December 04, 2011

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