The citrus harvest has dropped by 20% this season to 345 thousand tons against 440 thousand tons during the past season.
Among the main reasons for this decline are drought, lack of irrigation water in production areas, particularly in the governorate of Nabeul which accounts for 75% of the harvest of the sector nationwide, according to data provided by the Directorate General of Agricultural Production at the Ministry of Agriculture.
The decline in the citrus harvest affects mainly the varieties Maltaise (- 30%), Navel (-25%) and Clementine (23%).
In fact, the quantities produced by these varieties have reached this season 92.8 thousand tons of Maltese, 98 thousand tons of Navel, 56.5 thousand tons of Clementine and 53 thousand tons of lemons.
According to the same source, the harvest of sweet oranges has stood at 17.1 thousand tons, that of mandarins has remained stable at 5.6 thousand tons while the other varieties of citrus fruit have recorded a 13.5% fall to 13.5 thousand tons.
The supply of clementine to the domestic market has started since mid-October from the central and southern governorates (Kairouan, Gabes, Nabeul and Sidi Bouzid), the same source indicated, adding that the export of citrus fruits, particularly Maltese, will start normally in the first half of January 2022 to the French market, where promotional days and tasting sessions are planned on site.
Export operations to the Gulf markets have already commenced with quantities that now amount to between one thousand and two thousand tons, pending the gradual increase of these quantities to these countries as well as to the Libyan market, according to the same source.