Value addition of citrus in Nepal
Value added goods are raw farm goods that have been adjusted or improved to have a higher market value and/or a longer shelf life. The added value seeks to improve the product until it is sold to the consumer. Added value helps businesses to sell their products more effectively, promoting brand power as opposed to a commodity. They can charge higher prices, attain a higher price for selling products and be competitive.
Status of Citrus in Nepal
Citrus is Nepal ‘s main fruit crop contributing approximately 38 per cent of total fruit production (FDD, 20013/14). Mandarin orange, which shares about 67 percent of the country ‘s overall citrus production, is predominant among citrus fruits. The unique topography and agro-climatic conditions of Nepal ‘s mid-hills have allowed many types of citrus fruits to be produced. Currently, all 39 districts in the mid-hill area and 3 terai districts produce substantial quantities of citrus fruit. Citrus fruits have now become a business proposition in the mid-hill region and many pockets of citrus have already been grown.
Different Citrus Products and their Usages
- Fruit: All species are extremely important for their fruit that is eaten fresh or processed in numerous ways.
- Seed: An industrial extract of grapefruit seeds and pulp is used to produce antibacterial and fungicidal agent.
- Beverage / drink / tea: Fruit juices of all kinds can be used in drinks. The lemon and sweet orange leaves are boiled to make tea. In order to produce wine, sour orange juice was fermented.
- Flavoring / spices: There are flavoring agents for the majority of citrus species. Lime and lemon, for example, are widely used foods with flavor. Complete limes are likewise pickled as a pleasure (Achar).
- Essential citrus oils: Essential oils are volatile oils derived from sacks of citrus fruit peels. The food industry uses them to give drinks and foods flavor. They are also components for the preparation of medicines and soaps, perfumes, and other cosmetics for the pharmaceutical industry, as well as for home cleaning products.
6. Jam and Jelly: Jam and jelly making is also a perfect way to use fruits and berries that cannot be used for other preservation forms. By boiling fruit with sugar, jelly is made, and jam is made from whole, cut fruit boiled with sugar.
7. Citrus pulp pellets: The conversion of peels and pulps that have been left behind after the juice has been converted is the result of citrus pulp pellets. They are used as animal feed for feeding Livestocks.
Limitations on Value addition of Citrus in Nepal
- Long gestation period of citrus fruits.
- Inadequate training to citrus growers.
- Weak extension and research support.
- Weak government support .
- Incidence of citrus decline .
- Lack of adequate laboratory facilities .
- Lack of well defined processing infrastructure.
- Insect pest and disease.
Lessons to be Learned
- Good citrus nursery practices should be followed at the time of orchard management.
- Detailed survey of citrus greening and virus disease incidence in Nepal is needed.
- Link production areas to the markets by improving road access.
- Government should formulate and enforce nursery act to regulate uncontrolled flow of non-descript /non certified planting material across the country by introducing internal quarantine system.
- Species identification and life cycle , population dynamics and loss assessment and vector and host identification is needed to protect citrus from insect and pests.
- Rejuvenation of declining citrus orchards by program implementation in campaign form.
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