Mandarin (Citrus reticulata Blanco) is one of the most important commercial fruit
of Sikkim, locally known as Suntala. Mandarin is never grown alone
in Sikkim but
always intercropped throughout the year with other crops. Due to its geographical
location and biodiversity the existing mandarin growing system is ecologically sustainable
and provides farmers with their household income for family.
In Sikkim its cultivation occurs in sub-tropical climates on both the sides of the
Teesta and Rangit rivers and its tributaries between 600 to 1,500 m above sea level.
The gradual slope of river valleys, with light textured deep fertile soil high in
organic matter, provides good drainage and is naturally free from soil acidity problems.
Presently mandarin is cultivated on around 6,800 ha, producing 9,500 metric tonne
of Oranges (Seeded Variety) in Sikkim.