The district of Vijayapura is blessed with the waters from the Krishna, Doni and Bhima rivers, deep black soil, red sandy soil and mixed soils, semi-arid climatic conditions and diverse agricultural produce. It is estimated that nearly 80 percent of the land is under cultivation with a thriving agro and food processing industry providing employment to thousands in the district.
This district cultivates some of the best jowar, wheat, pulses, sunflower, bajra, groundnut, linseed, sesame, cash crops like cotton, sugarcane, pomegranate and wine grapes and of course, the native Kagzi lime/lemon. Lemon and especially the Kagzi lime is grown in over 12,000 hectares of land in this district with an average annual production of over 3 lakh metric tonnes.
Locals say that Kagzi lime derives its name from kaagaja which means paper as the rind is as thin as paper! This acid lime has been cultivated here since the early 1900s and is used to prepare drinks, pickles and candy while citric acid from this lime finds an important place in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry.
The Indi and Sindagi taluks of Vijayapura district rank the highest in terms of area under cultivation, total production, productivity per hectare and average yield per tree. The acid limes grown here are preferred by the food processing industry for its large size, high juice content, acidity percentage, high ascorbic acid content and shelf life.
Acid lime is harvested in all the three seasons with high demand seen at the onset of summer. Pickles, concentrates, juices and others to be stored for an entire year are normally made after the festival season when the price drops.
The Karnataka government is now actively pursuing the Geographical Indication Tag (GI) recognition for this unique indigenous lime.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
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