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Interested in Oranges… Here is the Toolkit

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Oranges need light fertile sandy, well drained land. Well distributed rainfall or supplementary irrigation throughout the year guarantees continuous moisture requirement.

The recommended orange varieties are Washington Navel, Hamlin and Valencia. Washington Navel is a seedless big fruit, popular in supermarkets, which can be eaten as dessert. It matures early in the season, is easy to peel and has small and short spines.

Hamlin is a smaller fruit with a smooth, shiny skin and peels off easily. It yields more than Washington Navel. It has good juice extraction property, good for orange squash and orange concentrate industries.

Valencia is a small seeded fruit, with high yield. its rough skin peels off easily, has long pronounced spines, matures late in the season and fetches better prices when other types are off-season. The fruit is suitable for juice extraction, ideal for orange squash or concentrates.

Land preparation and planting involves deep and thorough cultivation. Perennial grasses such as couch grass (lumbugu) should be cleared and burnt or sprayed prior to planting, with herbicides like Round-up.

– Spacing is 10ftx10ft providing for about 400 seedlings on one acre.

– Trees should be aligned straight in a row and across the rows. This necessitates proper layout of the field with pegs, string and tape measure.

– The planting holes should be 2ft deep and 2ft wide.

– Planting should be done at the beginning of the rainy season.

– The polythene should be removed and seedlings covered with soil that is pressed.

– The grafted area should be kept well above the ground to avoid infection.

Caring for seedlings
– Regular watering should be provided all the way up to fruiting, depending on weather conditions.

– Use farmyard manure like cow dung and poultry waste.

– Cover crops like beans or groundnuts should be planted during the first three years until the tree canopies have closed in.

– In case no cover crop is planted, then weeding along the rows should be done first and the remaining parts slashed.

– Timely pruning of branches results in higher fruit yields. Pruning should be round-shaped or in umbrella form.

– Abundant sunshine reduces insects, pests and diseases and enourages good quality fruit growth.

– Trees should not be left to grow above six metres. It makes harvesting, pest and disease control difficult.

– Reduce spraying and carry out hand weeding. Chemicals make young fruits turn to yellow.

Diseases and pests
There are three diseases that attack oranges; viral, fungal and bacterial.

Many pests attack various parts of the plant, especially in the young stage.

The most common pests are aphids, leaf minors, orange dogs (caterpillars), white flies, mealy bugs and scale. All these can be controlled by insecticides like demoethoate (rogor) and sunlight.

Fungal is caused by wet conditions especially during the wet seasons. In this case, prune so that sunlight penetrates to all branches. The fungal infection is controlled by Dithene M45.

The Citrus Tristeza virus transmitted by aphids can be controlled by using rogor. The viral disease comes with the seedlings from different nurseries.

Bacterial diseases are mainly soil-borne and can be fought using grafted healthy scions like lemon root stock.

Leftovers and rubbish should not be thrown in the garden.

And buy only from approved centres like Kawanda Agriculture Research Institute, Mukono Agriculture Research Trial Centre, Namanve NFA nursery or centres under the National Agricultural Research Organisation.

Harvesting
Use a sharp scateur tool to harvest mature fruits which have turned slightly yellowish and avoid bruising them. Wash, grade and put them in a cool place.

Socio-economic and medicinal importance of oranges

Oranges can be processed into juice, concentrates, marmalade and jam. They have very high content of vitamin C.

The medicinal qualities also help in beautifying and smoothening the skin and healing wounds.

People who eat oranges are less susceptible to diseases. The orange juice is an energy giving drink and boosts the body’s immune system. It is also an appetiser, improves digestion and helps to treat constipation. People with that problem are advised to take a glass of concentrated orange juice in the morning and in the evening.

Oranges are a natural cleanser of the oral cavity and strengthen mammalian bones. The strengthening quality originates from the white membrane that surrounds the inner sections of the orange, very rich in calcium.

Oranges give relief to painful throat, asthma, coughs and colds. This is best achieved when concentrated juice is mixed with some warm water and drank.



Oranges need light fertile sandy, well-drained land. Well distributed rainfall or supplementary irrigation throughout the year guarantees continuous moisture requirement.

The recommended orange varieties are Washington Navel, Hamlin and Valencia. Washington Navel is a seedless big fruit, popular in supermarkets, which can be eaten as dessert. It matures early in the season, is easy to peel and has small and short spines.

Hamlin is a smaller fruit with a smooth, shiny skin and peels off easily. It yields more than Washington Navel. It has good juice extraction property, good for orange squash and orange concentrate industries.

Valencia is a small seeded fruit, with high yield. its rough skin peels off easily, has long pronounced spines, matures late in the season and fetches better prices when other types are off-season. The fruit is suitable for juice extraction, ideal for orange squash or concentrates.

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