Oranges contribute significantly to the bulk of world's citrus fruit production accounting for more than 50% of the global citrus production. Output and consumption of oranges have grown sharply over the past three decades at a compounded rate of 3.5%. Production and exportation of processed orange products have also increased by 4.4% over the same period because of the improvement in transportation and the low packaging cost. Of all the oranges produced worldwide, 20% of the total is sold as a whole fruit while the remainder is used in making extracts and juice. Oranges are also used as preservatives and spices in some of the coastal communities. Oranges are valued for vitamin C content. It is also a source of other nutrients including folacin, calcium, and potassium.
Orange is one of the top citrus fruit grown in most of the countries after banana and apple. The most common species of citrus are the mandarins, sweet orange, and lime. There are many orange cultivars or varieties developed for each region. The varieties are mainly pest resistant and high yielding. Some of the most common types include santra, Valencia, Blood Red, and Seedles-182. Oranges grow well in both tropical and sub-tropical climate. For maximum yield and best crop growth, dry conditions characterized by low rainfalls ranging between 75 and 250 cm are most favorable conditions. High humidity and frost conditions are a perfect environment for the spread of diseases in orange crops while hot winds cause the plant to lose its flowers and young fruits. Orange crop grows well in a wide range of soil including the alluvial, sandy loam, and red sand soil. However, soil properties like fertility, drainage, and PH concentration are important factors to be considered. Orange crops can either be irrigated in an orchard or rain fed in case of reliable rains.
Orange production and consumption have grown over the years. The current annual orange production is estimated at 50 million tons. The increase in orange production is mainly because of the larger cultivation area, efficient transport, and low packaging cost. However, the high production levels have significantly affected the rate of new planting with the demand for oranges rising more than its output, especially in the developed countries like the United States. Oranges are produced worldwide with 70% of the world orange production taking place in the Northern Hemisphere.
Top Orange Producing Countries
Brazil is the leading orange producer in the world producing about 30% of the world’s output. 94% of the country’s orange production is concentrated in the state of Sao Paulo. Brazil is also the leading exporter of orange fruits and orange juice.
The US is the second-largest orange producer in the world accounting for about 10% of the world’s production. The state of Florida is the orange-growing state accounting for 70% of the country’s production. Over 90% of the oranges produced in the US go to Juice making.
The improved orange cultivars and expansion of orange farms in China have seen the country rise to the third largest orange producer in the world. China produced about 14.4 million tons of orange accounting for 8% of the world production in 2013. These top three countries are expected to continue to expand their production but at a slower rate.