Citrus accounts for 7.1% of Israel's total agricultural produce.
In recent years, Israel has introduced new agrotechnologies into its citrus farming to facilitate improved operations, which includes the planting of new citrus groves in arid and semi-arid regions.
Varieties of Citrus
A wide variety of oranges, grapefruits and lemons, as well as a variety of more exotic citrus fruit are being marketed by Israel. Israel's major citrus product by volume is the traditional Shamouti orange. Other varieties of oranges exported include the Valencia Late and Navel. The White Grapefruit, originally grown in inland valleys, is increasingly being replaced by the Sunrise variety, whose peel and meat have a red tint. The Sweetie is an additional variety of grapefruit that is gaining in popularity. It is the result of a cross between the grapefruit and the pomelo. Its peel stays green, and this differentiates it from other grapefruits. Israel also produces a variety of pink grapefruits. Also produced by Israel are exotic varieties of citrus such as the lime, kumquat (Chinese orange), limquat (small juicy lemon) and the red or white pomelo.
A new brand has recently been developed - Environment Friendly Fruit. These fruit are environment friendly because they are grown with minimal use of chemicals to avoid interfering with the ecosystem or harming the environment.
Developing New Varieties
Efforts are presently being directed to the development of new citrus varieties that have a smaller seed content, a longer shelf-life, a pleasant appearance, and a long marketing season.
Some of the outstanding new varieties that have been developed are Winola, Ora, Mor, Nectar, Or and Rishon. The main varieties introduced from overseas include the Pomelit, Navel-Newhall, Pink Grapefruit, Ray-Ruby, and Pink Grapefruit Rio-Red.