The aim of the citrus growers in this region is to grow a perfect fruit which ripens early and so fetches the best price at market. To help them achieve this, some of the farmers have been experimenting with high greenhouses and have found several benefits:-
- The fruit are protected from the vagaries of the winter weather and so are not spoilt by wind or rain.
- The fruit ripe earlier than those planed out in the open.
- They need less insecticide because of the protection.
- The trees produce a heavier crop.
Of course without any form of natural irrigation, the trees need to be watered regularly but at the moment water is not scarce, it is cheap and of good quality.
The cost of installation of the canopies is high but then they can last for eight years and getting fruit to market early brings a much higher return. The mandarin oranges go to the United States, to England, Germany and Italy where prices are high for early fruit.