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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Oranges ~ Egypt becomes top exporter in terms of volumes !

Egyptian authorities executed 15 men convicted for alleged involvement in three cases of political violence as well as 2 women and 32 men convicted in criminal cases between October 3 and 13, 2020, Human Rights Watch said !   Thirteen of the 15 men charged with political violence had been held in Cairo’s Scorpion Prison. Their executions follow a suspicious incident inside Scorpion’s death row ward on September 23 in which Interior Ministry forces killed four prisoners after those prisoners killed four security personnel. Authorities alleged the prisoners were trying to escape.

A 57-year-old woman beggar who owned five buildings and had over 3 million Egyptian pounds (Rs 1.4 crore) in bank accounts has been arrested by Egyptian police. The woman named Nafisa was reportedly a wheelchair user and used to beg citing her physical paralysis, but eyewitnesses claimed that she was seen walking on foot after begging.


Nagpur –  is called city of Oranges.  This major commercial and political centre of Vidarbha region is famous for oranges.  Nagpur lies precisely at the center of the country with the Zero Mile Marker indicating the geographical center of India and houses the headquarters of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.    Vidarbha is the eastern region of Maharashtra state.  Its former name is Berar (Varhad in Marathi).  Vidarbha holds two-thirds of Maharashtra's mineral resources, three quarters of its Forest Resources.    This major commercial and political centre of Vidarbha region is famous for oranges.  Citrus Sinensis is commonly grown tree fruit.  It is considered to be hybrid of pomelo and mandarin – the ones sold in Nagpur are generally small in size but sweet.

Union minister Nitin Gadkari  recently  flagged off a special `Kisan Rail' from Nagpur carrying 205 tonnes of oranges to Delhi, a Central railway release said. Nagpur is known for its oranges and the special train will halt in the `orange belt' of Katol, Narkhed, Pandhurna, Betul and Itarsi. A website was also launched for orange farmers and traders for rake bookings. The special Kisan train will have 12 VPU Rakes. Nitin Gadkari said Kisan rail will be a boon for the orange and vegetable farmers in the region.

The orange is the fruit of various citrus species in the family Rutaceae. The sweet orange reproduces asexually (apomixis through nucellar embryony); varieties of sweet orange arise through mutations. The orange is a hybrid between pomelo (Citrus maxima) and mandarin (Citrus reticulata). The chloroplast genome, and therefore the maternal line, is that of pomelo.  The orange originated in a region encompassing Southern China, Northeast India, and Myanmar, and the earliest mention of the sweet orange was in Chinese literature in 314 BC

Indeed, oranges offer many health benefits: They may boost your immune system, give you better skin, and even help improve your health heart and cholesterol levels. In addition, some evidence suggests that eating oranges may help reduce the risk of respiratory diseases, certain cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcers and kidney stones. Oranges are popular due to their natural sweetness, the many different types available, and the diversity of uses.  This popular citrus fruit is particularly known for its vitamin C content.  Oranges also  contain a range of other plant compounds and antioxidants that may reduce inflammation and work against disease. In addition to vitamin C, oranges contain fiber, potassium and choline, all of which are good for the  heart. Potassium, an electrolyte mineral, is vital for the healthy functioning of the nervous system, and a lack of potassium can lead to arrhythmia (an irregular heartbeat), increased blood pressure and a depletion of calcium in bones, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Oranges grown in the desert are driving a boom in citrus exports from Egypt, establishing the country as one of the world’s top suppliers of the fruit. Officials in Cairo say Egypt has become the world’s largest exporter of oranges by volume, surpassing rivals Spain and South Africa, though these two countries still make much more in revenue from their orange exports. Egypt exported almost 1.8m tonnes of oranges in 2019 scraping to first position just ahead of Spain, according to the International Trade Centre.   “Egypt has the advantage of a cheap currency which means the prices are competitive. Oranges have made a jump in income for farmers so they are planting more.” The Egyptian pound fell steeply against the dollar in 2016 as a result of a devaluation that was a condition for an IMF bailout.  Most of Egypt’s  orange exports come from large farms on reclaimed desert land established during the past three decades, rather than the old fertile fields of the Delta and Nile Valley, where landholdings are fragmented and farmers cannot afford the level of investment required to produce for export.    Egyptian exporters began sending oranges to China eight years ago. Along with Bangladesh it is their  most important market.  It is stated that in  China they have some of the highest standards for oranges in the world and would not  accept a single blemish or scratch on the fruit.  Once Camel milk was touted as Africa’s new ‘superfood’ – farmers, schemes and digitalized supply chains have all combined to take Egypt on top in terms of volumes of orange exports. 

By some accounts,  fruit exports have already reached nearly 1.2 million tonnes for the 2020 campaign, or nearly half of all horticultural shipments in the country. While this level testifies to the good health of the sector, many players are anticipating good prospects for the next season with renewed interest in the fruit.  The demand for oranges is currently booming in many importing countries due to its beneficial effects in enhancing immunity in the context of the global coronavirus pandemic. Added to this is the weakness of the Egyptian pound, which makes the Egyptian supply more competitive on exports compared to other competitors such as Spain, Turkey and Morocco.

In our place, even orange juice is a great hit and even orange peels are eaten – they are put in sambar and chutneys too.  They add great flavor.  But although orange peels are edible, they are not nearly as sweet or as juicy as the pulp. They can also be difficult to digest, and unless you're eating a peel from an organic orange, it could be covered in chemicals. If you do eat the peel, you'll get a good amount of nutrients. "Orange peel actually has more fiber than the fruit inside. "  "It also has flavonoids in it that contain nutritious benefits." Flavonoids — compounds found in many foods, such as fruits and vegetables, grains, tea and wine — are known to lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation, according to a 2016 article published in the Journal of Nutritional Science.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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