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Southern India: Off season production of litchis

India ranks second in the world in the production of litchis, coming directly after China. In India, litchis are grown on almost 83,000 hectares of area with a production of 575,000 tonnes.

Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand are the major litchi growing states of the country, with litchis requiring specific climates for flowering and fruiting. Thus its commercial cultivation is limited to a few states at certain latitudes. In the northern states of India, litchi fruits mature in the months of May and June. Contrary to this, the litchi matures in the months of December and January in some of the non-traditional litchi growing regions of South India.

These litchi trees produces flowers in the month of August –September and the fruits mature in December and January. These trees belong to the Shahi, Rose Scented, Early Seedless, Dehradun, Shahi, Maclean, Green and Calcuttia varieties. The fruit quality is on a par with the fruit from Northern India but the lack of suitable packaging and poor marketing are impeding the rise of these off-season litchis, according to an article.

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