Delhi, May 25
In a major boost to export of GI certified products, season’s first consignment of Shahi Litchi from Bihar was exported to United Kingdom by air route on May 24. The phyto-sanitary certification for exports of Shahi Litchi was issued from 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 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 Shai Litchi.
Because of short-shelf life of litchi, there is need to explore exports opportunities for the processed and value-added products.
Shahi litchi was the fourth agricultural products 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 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 production of litchi.
APEDA has been facilitating Bihar government in formulating State agri-export plan which would provide road-map for boosting agricultural and processed food products exports from the State. After the finalisation of 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.