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India: ‘Packaging can turn litchi into a wonder fruit’

Some Indian experts believe that litchi as a fruit has not had enough attention and farmers have failed to realize its potential. With proper harvesting, grading, packaging, storage and marketing techniques, litchi can turn into a wonder fruit for the farming community.

“In India fruits are sold in clusters or bunches. Usually, it is transported in baskets or wooden boxes without any post-harvest treatment. The fruit is sold through a post-harvest contractor to the wholesale or commission agent, who undertakes the harvesting and packing, in addition to transporting the produce to the market,” said Dr BVC Mahajan, director of the Punjab Horticultural Postharvest Technology Centre.

Packaging of litchis remains a major challenge as the fruit is easily perishable. It is commercially grown in Pathankot, Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur over an area of about 2,708 hectares with a production of 43,958 tons. “More than 80 percent of the growers prefer sale through post-harvest contractors in the region. The potential of litchis has not be realised so far.”

As described on, litchis are commercially packed and marketed in jute sacks, which lowers the market value and shelf life. Now, Mahajan is advising to let the litchis be packed in CFB boxes, retaining visual appearance, keeping quality and marketability. The transportation losses can also be minimised by packing litchi fruits in these CFB boxes.

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