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Citrus

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Taxonomy:
Family:
Rutaceae
Genus:
Citrus
Species:
C. Limon, C. sinensis, C. aurantifolia, C. reticulata, C. paradise, C. maxima
Occurrence & Agricultural Importance in this Country:
Cultivation Areas:

In Jordan orange cultivation has been known since ancient times but as a very small area. However, over time the cultivation and production of orange, particularly in the northern Jordan Valley has become economically important. Recently the Jordanian Government has paid special attention to citrus and has tried to encourage markets, even creating a popular annual festival called the “Festival of oranges”.

Citrus cultivation in the Jordan valley comprises up to around 5000 hectares of which approximately 90% in the northern part of the valley.

Main Varieties:
The types of citrus varieties grown include oranges, mandarins, citrus and grapefruit.
Marketing Information and Uses:
Use:

Citrus fruits are rich in vitamins, especially vitamin C. Fruit also contains vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and B12 (niacin), vitamin A (carotene) and vitamin P (citrine).

In citrus acidity is normally up to 3% while in Benzaher (Noemi Basra) it can be up to 6% and there are other acids present such as Tartaric, Benzoic, Succinic, Oxalic and Formic acid.

Markets:

All production is mostly consumed locally mainly fresh and in most years Jordan are also importing quantities of from neighboring countries.

Crop Management:
Cultivation conditions and methods:
Soil Type:
Good soil for citrus is mixed soil (between sand and clay) with a depth of at least 2 metres, away from ground water.
Temperatures:
Citrus are able to grow in temperatures from -2C to +38C. They can tolerant up to -6C overnight if the trees are dormant (i.e. in winter), but during spring or autumn, frost of around three hours is enough to severely damage trees. Trees are also tolerant high temperatures of up to +51C.
Water Requirements:

Citrus trees are need a permanent source of irrigation. Whatever the source of irrigation water, it must be free of harmful salts (eg. is sodium chloride salts and oxides of the magnesium-boron salts) and the proportion of these salts in irrigation water must be no more than 0.5 g/l for sodium chloride and 0.05 g/l the magnesium oxide and 0.25 mg/l salts boron.

Heavy irrigation during flowering must be avoided or there is a risk of premature flower fall.  Irrigation during fruit formation must be fast, light and frequent until the fruit gains the size of a chickpea.

Nutrition Requirements:
Citrus may be grown in a range of soils, ranging from sandy land through the light land, medium and heavy clay soils and each has its positive and negative properties. Fertilization is very important for citrus trees to grow and especially for fruit setting, Organic fertilization is important as are mineral fertilizers, but soil analysis is required to confirm needs.
Harvesting Period:
Citrus fruit is harvested according to the requirements of size of variety, color and taste.
Harvesting Methods:
Harvesting is by hand, the fruits being cut using sterile scissors. Fruit is boxed and after may be cleaned, washed, dried, sorted and waxed, especially if it is destined for export..

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