Varieties of Citrus Fruits in Pakistan
Citrus fruits rank as the second most cultivated fruit globally, with Pakistan securing the top position in their production. These fruits are a wintertime delight, enjoyed worldwide, and each region offers its unique specialties. Pakistan, in particular, is known for its ideal soil conditions for cultivating citrus, especially Mandarin oranges.
Pakistani Mandarin Varieties
Over 90% of Pakistan’s citrus fruit crop hails from Punjab, and this is largely due to the region’s favorable climate for orange cultivation. The majority of citrus fruits grown in Pakistan boast easy-to-peel skins. This has led to mandarin cultivation becoming a dedicated profession in the country, with farmers increasingly looking into growing mandarin hybrids. These mandarin trees are well-maintained, yielding a significant quantity of citrus unshiu, which is responsible for the deep orange-red hue and distinctive flavor of Pakistani mandarins. To produce clementine mandarins, Pakistani farmers employ alternate bearing techniques.
Major Citrus Producing Areas in Pakistan
While Punjab remains the primary citrus-producing region in Pakistan, several other areas across the country cultivate orange farms. These regions, along with their respective provinces and districts, include:
- Punjab: Districts of Sargodha, Jhang, Lahore, Sahiwal, Multan, Gujranwala, Sialkot, and Mianwali.
- Sindh: Districts of Sukkur, Nawabshah, and Khairpur.
- KPK (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa): Peshawar, Swat, Mardan, Hazara, Nowshera, Swabi.
- Balochistan: Sibbi, Makran, and Kech.
Types of Citrus Fruit in Pakistan
Pakistan’s climate provides the perfect conditions for growing various citrus fruits, leading to a diverse array of citrus hybrids. Here are some of the citrus fruit types available for trade in Pakistan:
- Grapefruit: This citrus fruit, grown in Pakistan, is known for its tangy flavor and is often used to make refreshing drinks. It’s primarily seedless and has bright orange-red flesh. Varieties include Mash Seedless, Duncan, Foster, Shambar, and Blood orange.
- Mandarin: Often referred to as Kinnow Mandarin in Pakistan, this citrus variety is known for its exceptional sweetness. It is widely cultivated and appreciated in the country. Varieties include Fewtrells Early, Kinnow, and Dancy tangerines.
- Sweet Orange (Mosambi): Sweet oranges are celebrated for their sugary taste, particularly during late fall. Varieties in Pakistan include Washington’s navel, Red blood, Succri, Jaffa, Ruby Red, and Valencia late.
- Sour Oranges: These citrus fruits, also known as Bitter oranges, are commonly grown in Pakistan. They are recognized for their potent citrus nobilis and thin, easy-to-peel orange peels. Varieties include Seville orange, Sour Orange, Marmalade orange, and Bigarade orange.
- Lime: Limes offer a robust, lemon-like citrus flavor. Some Pakistani regions produce sweet-tasting limes. Varieties include Key lime, Bartender lime, Omani lime, Sweet Indian lime, and Kagzi lime.
These are the primary types of citrus fruits cultivated in Pakistan. Beyond these, there are lesser-known citrus varieties, with many of them thriving in the Sargodha District. The citrus industry in Pakistan continues to evolve, offering a diverse range of delectable fruit options for both local consumption and international trade.