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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Oranges and ..

Orange and Persimmon bought from Anyang Shi on a very low price than what we get in Seoul
Recycled box of  seafood is now used for fruits

One thing that I miss the most is the oranges and the varieties of citrus fruits that we have in Pakistan such as maltas, kinno (mandarins), fruiters (tangerines), mitthay, santray, red-blood oranges, grapefruit....and there is no end. Pakistan is among the leading producer and supplier of citrus fruits in the world and currently ranks 9th.in citrus fruit production. In Korea, orange is a rare commodity - an orange(medium size and sweet)would cost about 200 rupees which is around 2$and that too on sale. For this price in Pakistan, depending on the quality and also the location, one can get up to 30- 40 oranges. Thanks to the FTAs that the prices are not as crazy as they used to be when we first came to Korea back in 2002.

Anyhow, the good news for Pakistan is that the consumers in the Netherlands would be able to buy Pakistani oranges from February 25,2011 onwards in Hanos, one of the leading store chains in Benelux specializing in institutional supplies with the support of Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Company (PHDEC).

Though I was not planning to write solely about the citrus fruit but the subject is so diverse that I must address the “orange phenomenon”. The share of Kinno mandarin is more than 60 percent of the total citrus production in Pakistan - a world leader in Kinno mandarin. Kinno mandarin is a hybrid of two citrus cultivars — "King" (Citrus nobilis) and "Willow Leaf" (Citrus deliciosa) — first developed by H. B. Frost at the Citrus Research Centre of the University of California, Riverside, USA in 1915. Later it was commercialized in 1935. In Pakistan, Punjab Agricultral College and Research Institute introduced it for the first time in 1940 and it is now found in abundance in both Punjabs of Pakistan and India (Kinno was introduced in India in 1954).

Marketing of citrus fruit in Pakistan lacks application of many international standard practices and even though it has a comparative advantage in this crop – it has been unable to create a niche for itself in the international market with competitors like the US, Brazil, Mexico, Italy and China etc.

For many countries, these citrus fruits have been considered valuable commercial commodity to generate foreign exchange through export but because of its perishale nature - extreme care in picking, packaging, storage and transportation is of utmost importance. What is included in citrus fruits? Well, the family members are Orange, Mandarin, Tangerine, Grapefruit, Pumelos, Tangelos, Citron Kumquat, Lime and Lemon. Brazil and USA are the two giants.

The origin of Citrus is found in Asam, Khasia, China and its surrounding hilly areas. Early Chinese records show that orange was known at least 4000 years ago. It is believed that Christopher Columbus, in 1493, in his second voyage took the lemon seeds to the New World (North America).

We can also trace the importance of these citrus fruits when lemons were used as a medicine to cure scurvy - a disease that was common among sailors in the 18th Century. It was a Scottish surgeon in the British Royal Navy, James Lind who first proved that scurvy could be treated with citrus fruit in experiments he described in his 1753 book, A Treatise of the Scurvy, though his advice was not implemented by the Royal Navy for several decades.

It is also known that Captain James Cook provided lemons and limes to all his sailors and surprisingly, none of them showed symptoms of scurvy. Ultimately it was found that scurvy was caused due to the lack of Vitamin C. In the 1497 expedition of Vasco de Gama, the curative effects of citrus fruit were known when he lost 116 of his crew of 170 due to scurvy. In 1536, the French explorer Jacques Cartier, exploring the St. Lawrence River, used the local natives' knowledge to save his men who were dying of scurvy. He boiled the needles of the arbor vitae tree (Eastern White Cedar) to make a tea that was later shown to contain 50 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams. Such treatments were not available aboard ship, where the disease was most common.

Anyhow, I can proudly say that in Pakistan, everybody, rich or poor - can enjoy oranges that are rich in vitamins and are clearly a miracle fruit!

For more on Citrus and oranges - please refer to the link below that will take you to the dissertation entitled “Marketing of Citrus Fruit in Pakistan” by Tahir Ali for his doctorate in Business Administration. Dr. Tahir – your thesis is indeed a great read!

Link: http://eprints.hec.gov.pk/1198/1/918.html.htm


  1. Oranges are really blessing here in Pakistan. We have them in abundance.

    I love the Malta most :-D

  2. What are the rates for maltay these days?
    Last year it was 90/dozen in the markets and much less in Juma/Itwar bazars!

  3. i love orangessssssssss...ican eat em without counting em:P infacts thats what i am doin these dayz:D

  4. @Asma: Lucky you!

    When I get hold of them , I start of with taking pictures of them, smell them for a while, appreciate them, taste them, thank God and write a post... ;-)

    Thanks Asma!