Nagpur: The Land of Oranges
Orange: The Synonym of NagpurWe all know that India is a land of diversities in terms of cuisine, language, culture and climatic conditions. Different areas in the country with different climatic conditions are suitable for certain types of farming. Like Shimla is good for apples, Mahabaleshwar is famous for strawberry, Allahabad is suitable for Guava cultivation, Goa is popular for Cashew nuts and Ratnagiri is renowned for Alphonso Mangoes, Nagpur is synonymous with Oranges.
The orange farms and plantations of several hectares is a common scene all over the Nagpur district. This land is by far the largest cultivator of oranges as compared to other cities in India. While, majority of cultivation is done in the nearby region of Vidharba, with over around 80,000 hectares of land used for the purpose. Nagpur being more of a commercial center uses only 20, 965 hectares of land for orange cultivation. The total production of oranges is around 5 lakhs tons per year.
As mentioned earlier, it is the nature of soil and the climatic condition of the area which decides what type of farming is suitable there. Nagpur has generally a hot climate, which is perfect for orange cultivation.
History of Orange Cultivation in NagpurIt is very interesting to roam around the beautiful orange farms which are full of trees laden with ripe oranges. But, the story how the cultivation of Nagpur orange in this region started is more interesting. It was Late Shri Raghujiraje Bhonsle who tested Nagpur orange for the first time as a kitchen garden plant during 1896 and it was a successful venture. Since then the cultivation of oranges in attained momentum year after year and now orange is one of the most remunerative potential foreign exchange earning crops in this region. Nagpur oranges are also one of the horticultural crops after mango and banana at national level.
Nagpur OrangesNagpur oranges, which are a variety of orange grown in Nagpur, are quite popular not only in India but also outside with its sweetness and juicy pulp. The Mandarin orange, which is also known as mandarin or mandarine is the common type of orange that is widely cultivated in Nagpur. Nagpur mandarin is the most popular fruit among all types of oranges in India due to its sweet-sour appealing taste and easy peelable quality of the rind. Some of the finest Mandarins are cultivated in Nagpur, Amravati and Wardha districts of Maharashtra. Nagpur Santra, a type of loose jacketed orange belongs to this category of Mandarins. Nagpur Santra is commonly grown in the Satpura Hills of Vidharba region.
What Makes Nagpur Oranges So Special?Nagpur Mandarin or NM has a unique blend of sugar and acid, which cannot be seen in any other orange types. The loose skin of Nagpur oranges makes them easily peelable. It is basically a table fruit and is not fully circular in shape. Nagpur Mandarin has deep orange colour and slices. These oranges with a peculiar aroma and unique taste make it different from other orange varieties.
GI status to Nagpur MandarinThe latest news on Nagpur Mandarin is that it is being awarded the Geographical Indication (GI) status. GI is a sign, logo or a name used on certain products in a certain geographical location. GI acts as a certification that the product has some unique qualities, enjoys a certain reputation due to its geographical origin. The GI status actually gives the NM farmers the privilege to sell their oranges in both the international and domestic markets. It will help improve the processing industry as well as export market for regional farmers.
Nagpur oranges are widely used as fresh fruit in India. It also has many other purposes like producing canned segments, squash, juice concentrate, beverages and jams. The peel of Mandarin is a good source of essential pectin and oil. It is also used as a basic material for the production of candies, cattle feed and alcohol. So, you can see several firms and industries that are functioning in this area in Nagpur. So don’t forget to visit the orange market in Nagpur and taste the unique Nagpur oranges during your holiday trip to Nagpur city.