Friday, April 6, 2012

Factors responsible for low production of horticulture crops in Garo Hills, Meghalaya:

Over the years, horticulture, which includes fruits, vegetables, spices, plantation crops, flowers and aromatic plants has assumed an important position in the food and nutrition security besides providing employment opportunities, sustainable income and increasing export opportunities both in rural and urban areas. In India, Agriculture contributes for 25 % of the national GDP and horticulture contributes 29.65 % of agriculture GDP and has proved beyond doubt its potentiality for gainful diversification. As a result, it has been receiving increased attention of the Government of India in respect of budget allocation, creating research and development infrastructure, training of manpower and even marketing support. Several initiatives taken by the Government and other stakeholders also have great impact on the development of Horticulture in terms of increased production, productivity and also availability of horticultural crops. One of the significant developments is that horticulture has moved from rural confined to commercial production, and this changing scenario has boost up the horticulture industry. This trend has been marked as “Golden Revolution” with India emerging as the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables and occupying first position in several horticultural crops. Production and export of flowers have increased manifold and the country has a major stake in global trade of spices and cashew nuts. Export of medicinal plants, fruits and vegetables have also exhibited rising trend. This sector thus has been moving dynamically and is in a crucial phase of development. In spite of the significant achievements, however, the potential is still enormous.
The North Eastern Region of India has been blessed with agro-climatic conditions naturally suited for wide variety of horticulture crops. It is the centre of origin of many horticulture crops species, has a wealth of orchid species and varieties and plenty of rare herbs. It is considered to be the center of origin of some species of mango, citrus, banana, beans, colocasia, ginger, orchids, yam, wild species of cucumber, brinjal, gourds and medicinal plants like Cymbopogon, Cinnamomurn, Aconitum, Embelica, etc. Various interventions in the sector have enabled to harness some of the existing potential in horticulture. The introduction of Technology Mission for Integrated Horticulture Development in North East region in 2002 and National Horticulture Mission has created awareness across the region which provided an insight for horticulture-led transformation utilizing the technology.
            The West Garo Hills district covers an area of 3714 Sq. Km. and lies on the western part of the state of Meghalaya. The district lies between the longitudes 90° 30' and 89° 40' East, and the latitudes of 26° and 25° 20' North. As per Census 2001, the district is home to 5, 18,390 people. West Garo Hills with a wide variety of agro-climatic conditions, soil and rainfall provide opportunities for growing varied range of Horticultural and plantation crops. The important fruit crops of the district are oranges, pineapple, litchi, banana, jackfruit and other citrus fruits. Important plantation crops are areca nut, cashew nut, coconut, tea, black pepper, bay leaf, betel leaf and rubber. Spices like ginger, turmeric, chilies, large cardamom and cinnamon are also grown; however, very few studies have been done to determine the suitable and high yielding cultivars of the important horticulture crops.

Though West Garo Hill has high potential for the development of horticultural crops, efforts have not been made to develop it as a commercial venture. Factors inhibiting horticultural development in the area are as follows:
  1. Poor cultivation practices and low yield
General neglect and non-adoption of scientific cultivation practices are the major constraints for poor return from most of the horticultural crops in this region. Thus despite conducive environment, the rate of production and growth of all horticultural crops are far below the all India average.
  1. Lack of desirable planting material
The disease free, true to type genuine planting material is lacking in a number of horticultural crops. It is imperative to produce disease free propagules.
  1. Identification of area specific major horticultural crops:
There is need to identify important horticultural crops for different areas of the region. The infrastructure facilities for commercial cultivation, marketing, export and processing / value addition for identified crop should be developed.
  1. Identification of suitable and high yielding cultivars of the major horticulture crops:
There is also need to identify the high yielding varieties and hybrids available in the country in selected crops suitable for the area.
  1. Conduction of on-farm trials / frontline demonstration (FLD):
The farmers of the region are not aware with the recent technologies of horticulture. Therefore, there is need to conduct demonstration / FLD as much as possible at farmers’ field in the identified crops to convince the farmers about the efficacy of measures in enhancing the productivity of identified crops. Apart from this the extension personnel should try to bring the maximum number of farmers to demonstration plots, organize farmers’ day, fair and yield competition, distribute leaflets / bulletins to the farmers.
  1. Strengthening of horticultural farms and nurseries:
The different horticultural farms and nurseries of the region which are meant for supply of disease free, healthy, true to type planting materials of fruits, vegetables and ornamental crops should be strengthened so as to meet the increasing demand for planting materials. The important rootstocks / mother tree stock should also be maintained at these horticultural farms/nurseries.
  1. Training to farmers/extension functionaries:
Non-availability of trained manpower is one of the major problems of the region, as horticulture requires highly skilled personnel for grafting, pruning and orchard management. The farmer as well as extension functionaries should be given training from time to time regarding recent advances in horticulture. The entrepreneurship should also be generated by providing training to entrepreneurs for overall development of horticulture.
            The above mentioned factors results the farmer of the area to produce lesser yields as compared to other fruit growing areas of India. With this background, it is proposed to study the performance of some varieties of fruit crops, so that, cultivars which are high yielding and suitable for the area can be identified as this would further the horticulture development of the area and bring higher yields and incomes to the farmers.


Sikkim Mandarin

Khasi Mandarin
Citrus world trade was already important during the second half of the nineteenth century and has grown tremendously later on in size, number of varieties and countries of production. The main citrus producing countries in the world are China, Brazil, the Mediterranean countries and United States of America. The world total production of citrus is about 11763628 tonnes during 2010 . The area and production of citrus in India is 987.461 thousand hectare and 9,637.813 thousand tonnes respectively. The leading citrus producing states of India are Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Assam.
The total production of mandarin oranges in the world was 21311892 tonnes during 2010 , while in India, it was about 1633.95 tonnes. The average productivity of mandarin oranges in India is 6.7 tonnes per hectare . The North-eastern states of India, viz. Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura is considered to be the natural home of many citrus species  and it is considered as a reservoir of various citrus species including mandarin orange . Various forms have been found growing wild in Garo Hills of Meghalaya and Siang districts of Arunachal Pradesh . Among the north eastern states of India, Assam recorded highest production and productivity of mandarin orange (i.e. 93. 39 tonnes and 11 t/ha respectively) from an area of 8.5 thousand hectares . On the other hand, Meghalaya produced 3.3 tonnes from an area of 8.0 thousand hectare and the productivity was only 4.2 t/ha . Although agro-climatic conditions prevailing in Meghalaya is conducive for cultivation of mandarin oranges but the total production and productivity is relatively low.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Loranthus longiflorus E Higngs: A menace to Mandarin cultivation in Garo Hills, Meghalaya

Mandarin orange is a popular fruit crop of Garo Hills which comprises of three districts viz. West Garo Hills, East Garo Hills and South Garo Hills. The farmers of these three districts cultivate mandarins extensively and produce 3,132 tonnes from an area of 1, 716 Ha. The Mandarins of Garo Hills are either cv. Khasi Manadrin or unknown cultivars. The Khasi Manadrin seedlings are mostly procured from Horticulture Departments of the three districts, Government of Meghalaya through various schemes and subsidy and some are through self-propagation which started after the formation of Meghalaya state in 1972 onwards. Some of the very old orchard are said to be propagated by seeds from Burma brought by Britishers during the last years of the 19th century. Other orchards are considered to be propagated by seeds from Assam and Kolkata during the middle part of the 20th century. The orchards of Garo Hills are not planted and managed scientifically. The seedlings are planted mostly on old shifting cultivation lands without proper layout and are left to grow as it is without applying any fertilizers, however, weeding is done twice a year. Pesticides, fungicides and herbicides are not used in the orchards and are purely organic in nature. In some orchards inter-cropping is done with arecanut, tea, coffee and banana. In such cases diseases, pest and parasites is a common problem in the area. Loranthus spp is one of the most common troublesome parasites found in Garo Hills. It reduces the productivity of the plants. 
Description of the plant: Loranthus longiflorus E Higngs is a glabrous shrub with green leaves but without a true root system. The stem is thick, erect and flattened at the nodes and appears to arise in clusters at the point of attachment. It produces long and tubular flowers. Birds and other animals disseminate the seeds through their droppings. The plant grows strongly on ageing trees particularly somewhere in the middle of old branches. Once established, it steals minerals and water, as well as block sunlight by covering the encroached place.
  1. It gets attached to the host branches by means of bulged haustoria which serve as absorbing organs.
  2. This in turn feeds on the host and leads to die-back and death of branches.
  1. The parasite should be removed at the early stage when it is easy to detach from the host plant.
  2. The infected branch and twigs should be cut well below the last hustorium and destroyed.
  3. The parasite should be destroyed before the maturity of the berries.

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Marketing Channels: Meaning and types

  1. Meaning: Farmers producing agricultural produce are scattered in remote villages while consumers are in semi-urban and urban areas. This produce has to reach consumers for its final use and consumption. There are different agencies and functionaries through which this produce passes and reaches the consumer. A market channel or channel of distribution is therefore defined as a path traced in the direct or indirect transfer of title of a product as it moves from a producer to an ultimate consumer or industrial user. Thus, a channel of distribution of a product is the route taken by the ownership of goods as they move from the producer to the consumer or industrial user.
  2. Factors affecting channels: There are several channels of distribution depending upon type of produce or commodity. Each commodity group has slightly different channel. The factors are :
    1. Perishable nature of produce .e.g. fruits, vegetables, flowers, milk, meat, etc.
    2. Bulk and weight–cotton, fodders are bulky but light in weight.
    3. Storage facilities.
    4. Weak or strong marketing agency.
    5. Distance between producer and consumer. Whether local market or distant market.
  1. Types of Market Channels:
    Some of the typical marketing channels for different product groups are given below:
  1. Channels of rice:
    1. Producer–miller->consumer (village sale)
    2. Producer–miller->retailer–consumer (local sale)
    3. Producer–wholesaler->miller–retailer–consumer
    4. Producer–miller–cum-wholesaler-retailer-consumer
    5. Producer–village merchant–miller–retailer–consumer
    6. Producer–govt. procurement–miller–retailer–consumer
  2. Channel of other foodgrains:
    1. Producer – consumer (village sale)
    2. Producer–village merchant–consumer (local sale)
    3. Producer–wholesaler-cum-commission agent retailer–consumer
    4. Producer–primary wholesaler–secondary wholesaler– retailer– Consumer
    5. Producer–Primary wholesaler–miller–consumer (Bakers).
    6. Producer->govt.procurement–retailer–consumer.
    7. Producer–government–miller–retailer–consumer.
  3. Channels of cotton:
    1. Producer–village merchant–wholesaler or ginning factory– wholesaler in lint–textile mill (consumer)
    2. Producer–Primary wholesaler–ginning factory–secondary wholesaler–consumer (Textile mill)
    3. Producer– Trader– ginning factory– wholesaler in lint–  consumer    (Textile mill)
    4. Producer–govt. agency–ginning factory–consumer (Textile mill).
    5. Producer–Trader–ginning factory–wholesaler–retailer– consumer (non-textile use).
  4. Channels of Vegetables:
    1. Producers–consumer (village sale)
    2. Producer–retailer–consumer (local sale)
    3. Producer–Trader–commission agent–retailer–consumer.
    4. Producer–commission agent–retailer–consumer
    5. Producer–primary wholesaler–secondary wholesaler–  retailer– consumer (distant market).
  5. Channels of Fruits:
    1. Producer–consumer (village sale)
    2. Producer–Trader–consumer (local sale)
    3. Producer–pre-harvest contractor–retailer–consumer
    4. Producer–commission agent–retailer–consumer.
    5. Producer–pre-harvest contractor–commission agent– retailer–consumer
    6. Producer–commission agent–secondary wholesaler–  retailer–consumer (distant market).
These channels have great influence on marketing costs such as transport,  commission charges, etc. and market margins received by the intermediaries such as trader, commission agent, wholesaler and retailer. Finally this decides the price to be paid by the consumer and share of it received by the farmer producer. That channel is considered as good or efficient which makes the produce available to the consumer at the cheapest price also ensures the highest share to the producer.

Citrus cultivation in India

Citrus spp. is grown in almost all the states of India. Although the citrus industry in India has faced many challenges, there has been a consistent increase in area and production owing to the awareness for sustained production. Citrus fruits, consisting of mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata Blanco), sweet orange [C. sinensis (L.) Osbeck] and lime [C. aurantifolia Swing le] are grown commercially in tropical, subtropical, arid irrigated and mountainous regions in varying soil and weather conditions. Citrus is grown practically all over India. However the states of Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra have the largest share. Although citrus trees on the whole do well in dry climate, with a rainfall between 75 and 125 cm, certain species, such as pummel and certain mandarin oranges, thrive in heavy-rainfall areas of Konkan, Assam and Coorg. Citrus trees the grown in almost all kinds of soil, varying from heavy black soils to shallow open soils. Some of the varieties of citrus seem to adapt them-selves to soil conditions better than others. They thrive in free-draining alluvial or medium black soils of loamy texture. A hard substratum or a sticky impervious layer is very injurious. Soils having a high water-table should be avoided. 
In India, gene pool of citrus totaling more than 500 varieties or species and genera are collected and conserved in field gene bank at different locations. Citrus varieties or species were evaluated for nucellar embryony. Number of embryos/seed and number of seedlings vary from species to species and genera to genera. Mandarins, acid lime, grapefruit (C. paradisi Macf.) have high polyembryony, whereas pummelo [C. grandis (L.) Osbeck] citron and lemon are monoembryonic. Through the evaluation of germplasm degree of sterility, incompatibility in gene pool was identified. Germplasm was screened against insect pest and disease to identify the source of resistance. Resistance to leaf miner is associated with phenology of flushing and presence of phenolic compounds. From the screening of more than 180 accessions against citrus nematode (Tylenchulus semipenetrans) trifoliate orange (Poncirus trifoliata Rafin) and their hybrids were found resistant. High degree of variability for the resistance against Phytophthora sp was observed in gene pool of citrus. Trifoliate orange and sour orange exhibited high degree of resistance against phytophthora root rot (Phytophthora nicotianeae var parasitica). Among Trifoliages, high degree of resistance was observed in Flying Dragon and Argentina trifoliate. None of the cultivars was found resistant to greening, although degree varied. Differential uptake of nutrients among the cultivars of citrus was also observed. Tolerance against salt is associated with differential uptake. The tolerant species had capacity to exclude chloride uptake from the system. Rangpur lime and Cleopatra mandarin were most tolerant to salt. Rangpur lime exhibited high tolerance to drought. The cultivars were assessed for shelf-life and various processed products.

Advanced research on citrus in India has led to the adoption of excellent cultivars. It is the result of introductions and testing that Kinnow mandarin, Jaffa and Valencia oranges have gained so much popularity in different regions of the country. Various selections have been made especially in lemon, which is being commercialized. These are Pant lemon, Baramasi and PAU selection. Systematic approach for the selection of better clones in acid lime was initiated in Marathwada, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The 3 promising selections, viz. Vikram, Pramalani and Sai Sarbati, were released in Maharashtra and PKM (Jai Devi) in Tamil Nadu. Tenali is highly promising in Andhra Pradesh. Aurangabad Seedless in lemon and Mudkhed Seedless in mandarin were identified. At the IIHR, Bangalore, attempts made to combine canker resistance through hybridization have resulted in selection of promising hybrids having resistance to canker. The following superior cultivars were released:

Citrus need adequate nutrients for better productivity, as the fruits are adapted to a wide range of soil types under varying climatic conditions. Lack of nutrients leads to decline. Leaf analysis of citrus orchards in different regions of the country was extensively done to understand the capability of soil to supply nutrients and also to use the leaf-nutrient status as an index for monitoring fertilizer use. The zinc is most critical nutrient among the micronutrients, although nutrients like manganese and iron are found deficient and need attention. In heavy rainfall area calcium and nitrogen nutrition need check. Thus, nitrogen, potassium, calcium and zinc nutrition is an integral part of nutritional management. Assessment of nutritional requirement for mandarin, sweet orange and acid lime under different agro-climatic conditions indicates that citrus require 600-800 g N, 300-400 g P2O5 and 600-800 g K2O plant/year for bearing trees. Experts advise that these nutrients should be applied in the form of cake and inorganic nutrients. Research findings have revealed that application of 20 kg farmyard manure + 7.5 kg Neem cake and 50% dose of inorganic nutrients enhanced the yield and quality of fruits. Most appropriate time of foliar zinc application appears to be the stage when leaves are completing its expansion, i.e. 30-45 days old shoots. Response to manganese, iron, copper and borax was also observed but the results are not consistent which may depend upon the status of these nutrients in the soil. It is invariably observed that trifoliate orange as rootstock, is less efficient in nutrient absorption than Rangpur lime or rough lemon. Troyer citrange and carrizo citrange accumulate less manganese and appear to be useful in acid soils. The maximum root activity is found within the depth of 25 cm and at radial distance of 120 cm in mandarin. Similarly, in Kagzi lime also 80% roots are confined to radial distance of 120 cm. Thus application of fertilizer in this zone is beneficial for better fertilizer-use efficiency. Application of nutrients coinciding with time of flushing is better than the application when the plants are dormant. According to the Department of Agricultural Research and Education, ICAR, Government of India, in 1999-2000, application of 1,200 g N, 400 g each of P2O5 and K2O/plant in mandarin recorded highest yield at Akola. A dose of 800 g N, 200 g P2O5 and 300 g K2O/plant gave a yield of 23.9 kg/tree/year in acid lime. In sweet orange, a dose of 800 g N, 300 g P2O5 and 600 K2O/plant/year gave an yield of 68.6 kg/tree/year at Tirupati.

Intercropping should be done to utilize the vacant land to generate income till the citrus plants become productive. However, orchards may start to decline if exhaustive intercropping is used indiscreetly. The choice of intercrop depends upon local conditions and climate. Based on benefit: cost analysis potato, cabbage and peas were found beneficial in mandarin orchards in Darjeeling. Under Coorg conditions, mixed cropping with Robusta coffee was found to be more remunerative then monoculture, though plant vigour of Coorg mandarin was comparatively suppressed.

Citrus plants responds well to irrigation. Water management constitutes an important input in citrus orchard, which determines productivity and longevity. Normally no irrigation is practiced in heavy rainfall areas of North-Eastern states. Plants that receive 1 or 2 irrigation during dry period have healthy growth and produce heavier fruits in these areas. At the same time consecutive irrigation without definite period of soil-moisture stress is detrimental to crop yield, as such as situation leads to more vegetative growth. Monitoring of soil moisture is effective for regulating flowering and fruiting in acid lime under tropical situation. Of late drip irrigation is becoming very popular in water-scarce area of Maharashtra, parts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Many young citrus orchards were planned and planted wit drip system of irrigation. The economic analysis of these 2 systems favoured for the use of drip irrigation, which is viable. The system improved the yield, uniformity in fruits and gave brilliant quality of fruits in respect of shape, colour and edible quality. The growers apply the nitrogenous fertilizer through the drip which further economize on the fertilizer use.

Heavy weed infestation depletes the soil and competes for moisture and harbours pest and diseases during rainy season, which cause anoxia resulting in decline of the tree. Mechanical weeding using hoe or spade or plough is common but to economize on use of manpower; experts advise integrated weed management

Although a large number of pests and diseases attack citrus crops, only a few are important and cause regular heavy loss and require control measures. Psylla, Diaphornia citri, 2 species of blackfly, viz. Dialeurodes citri and Aleurocanthus woglumi, scales and mealy bugs are the major pests of citrus in India. For avoiding most pest problems, conditions that lead to stress on plants should be avoided such as close planting and water logging. The affected plant parts should be pruned and destroyed. Excessive use of nitrogenous fertilizer and irrigation should also be avoided. Good orchard sanitation, removal of weeds and destruction of ants which help in protecting harmful sap sucking insects have been found useful in reduction of pest infestation. Field release of predatory ladybird beetle, Cryptoleamus montrouzieri @ 10 beetles/plant and inoculative release of exotic parasite, Leptomastrix dactylopii have been recommended in coccid infestation is high.

Among nematodes, citrus nematode (Tylenchlus semipenetrans), Paratylenchus coffee, Hopolaimus indicus and Melodogyne javanica are pathogenic to citrus. Out of more than 15 species present infesting citrus orchards, citrus nematode (Tylenchulus semipenetrans) appeared widely distributed in different regions. Application of neem-cake recorded 35.7% reduction in nematode population compared with the control. A fungal parasite, Paecilomyces lilacinus greatly reduces the nematode population under glasshouse conditions.

During last few decades diseases caused by fungi, bacteria, virus or viorids or mycoplasma have assumed in alarming proportion in different agro-ecological regions. Among the fungal diseases, foot rot, root rot, gummosis, leaf fall and fruit rot (Phytophothora spp), twig blight (Colletotrichum gloesporioides, Diplodia natelansis and Fusarium sp), powdery mildew (Acrosporium tingitanium), pink disease (Pellicularia salmonicolour), leaf spot (Alernaria citri), scab (Elsinoe fawcetti) and sooty mould (Capnodium citri) have been reported from the different parts of the country with varying intensity. Root rot is one of the serious diseases occurring in India. The fungus associated with root rot is Phytophthora palmivora, P. citrophthora and P. parasitica. However, isolates from the Coorg were identified as Phytophthora nocotiance var parasitica. Use of tolerant rootstock is recommended to combat the disease, although chemical control has also been found effective. Drenching with Ridomil and Foltaf effectively reduces the incidence of the disease.
The bacterial canker, caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv citri, is one of the most serious diseases of acid lime prevalent all over the country. The disease is highly infectious spread from tree to tree through the water splashes and affects all the aerial parts of plants (leaves, twigs, petioles, branches, fruit stalks, fruits and thorns). Affected fruit crack is liable to be damaged during the transit. Due to the presence of cankerous tissue the fruit has poor appeal to the consumers. To prevent the disease, only disease-free planting material should be used. Removal of leaf and spraying with copper oxychloride is also beneficial. In India more than 15 virus like diseases occur, of which tristeza and greening are widespread and responsible for significant losses. Transmission citrus tristeza virus (CTV) and host-vector relationship was studied but control of CTV could not be achieved till mild strain was found. Mild strain protects the severe strains of the citrus tristeza virus on acid lime.
Presence of mild and severe strains in few mild strain-inoculated plants, infection of uninoculated plants and severe stem pitting in cross-protected plants raised the doubt on the usefulness of cross protection. The effectiveness of mild CTV strain in protecting the plants against the severe strain was not proved in the country, but the benefit of technique is successful in foreign countries. However, this technique shows significance in protecting citrus crop from the citrus tristeza virus. Thus the cross protection using mild strain appears to be a practical method to reduce the losses. Presently the techniques were developed for the identification of mild strain using the sero and molecular diagnostic techniques. It would definitely clarify the situation and help in selection of suitable strains. Another fastidious disease is greening, caused by bacterium, causes substantial loss in production. The antibiotic injection could not control this disease. But chemo- and thermothereaphy were successful up to some extent. Use of disease-free planting material is advocated, but the presence of vector (Diaphorina citri) does not reduce the risk. The work on cross protection against greening was initiated at Ludhiana where inoculum and vectors were present.
Considering the problem of virus and virus like diseases and their management, supply of virus-free planting material through the ICAR-sponsored schemes was started. There are evidences of definite yield advantages, prolonged bearing life and increased longevity of plants from virus-free budwood. New orchards using virus-free planting material have greater advantages. Foundation stock of disease-free budwood source and cleaning of virus from time to time are certainly basic requirements of virus-disease management in citrus. Though virus-free planting material may also get infected in field in due course, nevertheless a stage at which the first infection takes place has a definite bearing on the losses caused by virus diseases. Once the plant is established. It can sustain the losses in a good system of management while infected plants may not attain the stage. Micropropagation technique using shoot-tip grafting standardized may help for production of virus-free planting material through effective monitoring system.

Maturity of citrus fruits depends upon the climatic condition, scion rootstock and management practices. The extensive work was done on influence of climate, nutrition and rootstock on quality of fruit. The period of maturity is shortest in acid lime (5-6 months), longest in mandarin and sweet oranges (9 to 10 months) which is further influenced by heat unit and moisture. Attempt made to develop maturity standard based on TSS: acid ratio and external colour of fruit are index for harvesting of fruits which goes with the experience of the orchardist. Pre-harvest sprays of chemicals and growth-regulator increase the shelf life of fruits. Calcium chloride or nitrate or spray of hormones (2, 4, 5-T) reduces weight loss and enhances the TSS of fruits in storage, when applied 2 weeks before harvesting. Post-harvest diseases, caused by Penicillium digitatum, P. italicum, Phomopsis citri, Diplodia natalensis and Alernaria citri were found to be major cause for deterioration of fruits during post-harvest handling and storage. Treatment of fruits with 1,000 ppm Bavistin can reduce post-harvest loss appreciably and extend the shelf life to 25-26 days even at ambient temperature. Waxol along with Benomyl or growth-regulators was found beneficial to extend the shelf life of Kinnow. Wrapping of fruits with grease-proof paper or perforated polyethylene bags, packing in wooden crate and storage at 0-3°C temperature and 86-90% relative humidity were found optimum. Best storage temperature for Darjeeling mandarin was also found 1.5-3°C. Degreening at 26-28°C and 90-95% relative humidity with 500 ppm ethylene was achieved in Nagpur santra without affecting internal quality. Shelf-life of Nagpur santra was extended by 3 weeks on wrapping the fruits with heat-shrinkable polythene and Cryovate film (D9 55 and BDF 2001). These developments helped in export of mandarin. Only small percentage of fruits is being processed and there is an immense scope for the rapid development of processing industries with increasing growth of citriculture vis-à-vis. The economy of citrus processing can be improved by waste utilization and the citrus growers can get their due share. There is a scope for high production despite the challenge for which concerted efforts are on the way.