Agri Business

Litchi production likely to rise by 15% this year

PTI Muzaffarpur (Bihar) | Updated on March 12, 2018

A file photo of litchi fruit.

Production of sub-tropical evergreen fruit litchi is expected to increase by about 15 per cent during this year on the back of favourable climatic conditions.

Grown in 71,878 hectares of land across the country, 423 tonnes of litchi was produced in India last year, according to the National Horticulture Board (NHB).

“The recent mild rainfall and balanced temperature will result in an increase of litchi production by about 15 per cent this year,” the Director of National Research Centre (NRC) for litchi, Mr Vishal Nath, told PTI.

Set up in 2001, NRC is an arm of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research.

Bihar is the leading producer contributing 74 per cent of the country’s production. Muzaffarpur is the epicentre of litchi cultivation due to which it is popularly called as “Litchi district’’.

The State with 30,600 hectares of land under litchi had produced 215 tonnes in 2009-10. Shahi and China are the two popular varieties grown in the district.

Besides having a good domestic market in Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, Muzzafarpur litchi has export markets in gulf, Bangladesh and Nepal. West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Tripura and Assam are the other producing states.

Mr Nath said litchi cultivation in Bihar had seen a drop last year due to bad climatic conditions. Harvesting will begin from May 15 and will continue till the first week of June, the NRC Director said.

He said maturity of the fruit commences first in Tripura, followed by West Bengal and then Bihar. Besides, favourable climate, the litchi cultivation is set to see a rise because of good agricultural practices propagated by NRC scientists to the farmers.

He said the centre is working on “modified atmospheric packaging” to enhance the shelf-life of the perishable crop.

Published on April 13, 2011

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