Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Oranges & Mandarins (Yusuf Effendi): How they came to Egypt and spread internationally?

Mon 29 Apr 2024 | 11:44 PM
Dina Zain El-abdeen
Dina Zain El-abdeen
Dina Zain El-abdeen

We know that oranges and mandarins are some of the most produced citrus fruits in Egypt, as Egypt is ranked among top ten citrus producers in the world, including Brazil, China, the USA, India, Spain and Mexico.

In the southeast Himalayan foothills, a region including eastern Assam, India, northern Myanmar and western Yunnan province, in China was a generated of citrus that around 8 million years ago, and then dispersed into other parts of Southeast Asia.

The planting of orange trees began in a region that located at southern China, northeast India. The earliest mention of orange was in Chinese literature in 314 BC. Texts report that citrus fruits came from India to Oman, and then to Iraq, Syria, Palestine and Egypt. Arabs played a major role in spreading it during the Arab Muslim Empire as the Arab traders knew oranges before Europe and exported cross - Portuguese sailors in the Middle Ages to Portugal, so some records referred that the name of this country had been derived from Arabic name to orange then transformed to Portugal.

Citrus is a long-established sector in Egypt with a rich history. The dry conditions and sandy soils were well-suited to citrus production. The Egyptian citrus sector produces different Varieties of oranges such as Valencia, Navel, Baladi, Sweet oranges, and Blood orange.

As for Mandarin is a type of citrus fruit. Currently in Egypt and the Arab world called Yusuf Effendi — attributed to the person who first introduced the fruit to Egypt during the era of Muhammed Ali, Yusuf Effendi al-Armani, who brought the mandarin saplings from the Island of Malta as some ships docked carrying fruit trees from China and Japan and mandarin was among those fruits, so Yusuf Effendi bought from them eight barrels containing fruit trees of the type now known as “Yusuf Effend. Agricultural Magazine mentioned that oranges and mandarins have been exported to Europe since 1938, as more about 200,000 boxes were exported to Germany before the outbreak of World War II. And today Egyptian citrus fruits are gaining a good reputation in European markets. Egypt was one of the most important exporters of oranges to European markets as exported 458 thousand tons of oranges to Europe, an increase of 83% compared to the previous season.