Staff Reporter Lahore
Blessed with diverse climatic zones, Pakistan produces high quality agricultural commodities and a variety of fruits in abundance.
Citrus fruit, in terms of area, is the second in the world and Pakistan is among first 15 sour fruit producing countries.
Kinnow, a variety of citrus fruit, has a unique taste as well as nutritional and medicinal properties including vitamin C, sugar, iron, manganese, zinc and copper.
Health experts say, kinnow juice produces clean blood; boosts immune system; strengthens stomach and liver; and is very useful in controlling heart diseases.
According to a recent report on Kinnow yield, Brazil produces an average 16.713 million tons annually, the highest share (22.16 per cent) in Kinnow production worldwide.
Similarly, China produces 9.103 million tons thus forming 12.07 per cent of global yield, while Pakistan has 2.11 per cent share by producing 2.5 million tons.
Sargodha, a city in Punjab province of Pakistan, has distinction in production of Kinnow having great taste and delicacy.
According to an estimate, Sargodha produces 96 per cent of the total production of Kinnow in the country and its orchards spanning over millions of acres of land.
This fruit product not only caters to the nutritional and employment needs of thousands of people in the country but also helps earn foreign exchange through its exports.
Sargodha and Bhalwal areas’ economy heavily depend on Kinnow cultivation and there are around 250 Kinno processing centers in the region that employ over 250,000 people.
Sargodha, Faisalabad, Sahiwal and Layyah are also important districts in terms of Kinnow cultivation.
Kinnow is also cultivated in Sukkur, Nawabshah and Khairpur districts of Sindh province; Peshawar, Mardan, Swat, Hazara, Nowshera and Swabi in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and in Balochistan, it is cultivated in Sibi, Makran and Kech areas.
Although it is an important crop, yet like many other crops, it is also vulnerable to climate change effects.
According to agronomists, most of the Kinnow orchards have reached their natural age.
The local growers do not have adequate knowledge of cultivating new varieties of Kinnow and this tendency is likely to squeeze Kinnow yield and exports