Citrus production in the 2022/2023 season is expected to drop by 16% to 290,000 tons, from 345,300 tons the previous season, said the National Observatory of Agriculture (ONAGRI).
The average production of citrus fruits over the past five years stood at 387,400, ONAGRI added on Tuesday, citing data from the General Directorate of Agricultural Production.
This fall is explained by several factors including adverse weather conditions during the flowering and fruit setting periods of citrus and rising temperatures in May and June.
This is also due to the 2.6% decrease in the area of citrus fruits in the 2021/2022 season, compared to the 2020/2021 season.
This decline will be recorded in the production of most varieties. The production of Maltese oranges will be down by 23.5% to 71,000 tons compared to 92,800, Clementines by 15%, Mandarins by 18%, Thomson oranges by 7.1% and Lemon by 23.5%.
The decline will affect most production sites including the governorate of Nabeul, where production is expected to reach 200,600 tons during this season, against 241,000 tons in the season 2021/2022, down 16.8%.
However, the governorate is expected to account for 70% of domestic citrus production, 77% of Maltese oranges, 73% of Clementines and 70% of Thomson oranges.
The production of Maltese oranges is expected to fall by 26.4%, to 55,000 tons, from 74,700 tons in the last season (2021/2022).
The production of Clementines and Mandarins is expected to decrease by 12.4% and 14.2%, respectively, to 33,500 tons and 3,100 tons.
According to forecasts, Thomson oranges are expected to fall by 5.6% to 66,000 tons and lemons by 25% to 21,800 tons.
This decline is due mainly to the decrease in the area of citrus fruits, due to an increase in the rate of uprooting of aging plants in recent years, especially in Menzel Bouzelfa and Beni Khalled, in addition to the decline in the amount of water and the irregularity in some public areas.
In general, the production of citrus fruits has registered over the past five years, a relative fluctuation of varieties with a decline in the annual production rate by 4.08%, due to climate change.