The Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform of Syria has estimated the country's citrus production this season at about 788 thousand tons.
The director of the citrus office in the Ministry, Engineer Suhail Hamdan, said in a statement to SANA that the technical committees in the Ministry have estimated the production this season at 788,095 tons. 25 percent of that corresponds to the Tartous Governorate and the other 75 percent to Lattakia, where the acreage has reached 41,892 hectares. There are about 13.8 million trees, out of which 13.2 million are currently productive.
Hamdan said that the citrus production in Syria falls into four groups: Abu Surra, Valencia, Mordi and Jaffawi oranges, which account for 59 percent of the total, or about 464 thousand tons; mandarins, with 23 percent of the total, or about 184 thousand tons; lemons, with 13 percent, or about 99 thousand tons, and limes, with 5 percent, or 41 thousand tons.
He also said that this season's production is about 25 percent smaller than in the previous campaign, and that this decrease is due to exceptional circumstances in the coastal region in the period from May 15 to 20, when temperatures reached between 35 and 40 degrees Celsius and were accompanied by northern and eastern winds. These temperatures were about 15 °C higher than the average and caused a lot of fruit to drop from the trees, especially oranges and lemons.
Hamdan reports that the Abu Surra orange has been the most affected variety, as its production has decreased by about 52 percent compared to last year. The total volume reached 128,660 tons, while last year it stood at about 268 thousand tons.