The National Research Centre for Citrus (NRCC) has come up with a new variety of orange that looks like a sweet orange. It has been named Daisy, and the researchers hope once it is released for commercial farming, it may emerge as an option for the region’ orange cultivators, apart from the traditional Nagpur orange that they have been growing.
Daisy is a cross between Fortune and Fremonth varieties from California and was released by USDA in 1988. NRCC also presented other orange varieties; blood red malta, jaffa, westin, and hamlin in the conference. Manoj Jawanjal, a director of Mahaorange, an association of orange growers, said these varieties were already known to handful of progressive farmers.
NRCC director M.S. Ladhaniya, who presented the latest variety before the press, said: “The fruit has got a higher juice content. Its texture may not be exactly like the Nagpur orange, but it can still be eaten.”
The Daisy is an early variety and can be harvested in September, a month earlier than the regular oranges. It has a thick peel which makes it sturdier due to which it can be transported long distances with less chance of damage. The fruit has 50% to 52% juice content as against 45% to 46% in the orange.
According to an article on timesofindia.indiatimes.com¸ the fruits were successfully grown for about six years and can be easily cultivated in Vidarbha. NRCC plans to distribute the plants to the farmers from next year. Thus, fruits may be available in the market in four to five years. NRCC has also developed another similar fruit Pearl Tangelo which is sweeter than the traditional orange, he said.