In a major boost to export of Government of India certified products, the season’s first consignment of Shahi Litchi from Bihar was exported to the United Kingdom by air route today.
The phytosanitary certification for exports of Shahi Litchi was issued from the newly established certification facility at Patna. The fruit is being exported by Cira Enterprises and sourced from farmers in Muzaffarpur, Bihar. The Litchi is being imported by H & J Veg, London.
APEDA collaborated with the Department of Agriculture, Bihar along with other stakeholders such as farmers, exporters and importers for facilitating exports of Shahi Litchi. Senior officials including Dr. M Angamuthu, Chairman, APEDA, N. Saravana Kumar, Principal Secretary Agriculture, Bihar and others participated in the event for exports of Shahi Litchi.
Because of the short shelf life of litchi, there is a need to explore export opportunities for processed and value-added products.
Shahi litchi was the fourth agricultural product to get GI certification from Bihar in 2018, after Jardalu mango, Katarni rice and Magahi paan. GI registration for Shahi Litchi is held with the Muzaffarpur-based Litchi Growers Association of Bihar.
Muzzafarpur, Vaishali, Samastipur, Champaran, Begusarai districts and adjoining areas of Bihar have a favorable climate for growing Shahi Litchi.
India is the second-largest producer of litchi (Litchi chin) in the world, after China. The translucent, flavoured aril or edible flesh of the litchi is popular as a table fruit in India, while in China and Japan it is preferred in dried or canned form. Bihar tops in terms of the production of litchi.
APEDA has been facilitating the Bihar government in formulating State agri-export plan which would provide a roadmap for boosting agricultural and processed food products exports from the State. After the finalisation of the State agri-export plan, the export potential of Makhana, mango, litchi and other fruits and vegetables can be harnessed.
Bihar government is making efforts in association with APEDA and other agencies for creating required infrastructures such as customs clearance facility, laboratory testing facility, pack-houses, pre-cooling facilities, which would harness and boost agricultural exports potential of the State.