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Mauritius: 13,000-15,000 tons of lychees expected

Lychee production in Mauritius will more than double this year and sales prices will be effected. Within the next fortnight the fruit will sell for between 1-1.5Rs each compared to 2.50-3Rs at the moment.

Kreepallo Sunghoon, Secretary for the Small Planters Association (SPA) says that production could reach 13,000-15,000 tons in 2016, compared to 6,000 tons last year. Mr Sunghoon expects 6,000-7,000 tons of the lychees to be sold on the local market. Meanwhile, exports could reach 800-1,000 tons. The European market is the main export destination, but local producers also have their eyes on the Russian, Chinese, Indian and Arab markets. 

Mr Sunghoon explains that “Mauritian lychees are the first to ripen and the first on the market, but we cannot rival the large international producers in terms of volume and prices”. 

Mr Sunghoon says that they expect to lose about 7,000 tons this year- which is a great loss to producers and he wants authorities to take the measures required to protect producers. Whilst there are almost no more cyclones, bats have damaged lychee, mango, longan and banana production over the last few years. It is understood that the losses, if manual labour, fertiliser and irrigation costs are included, could reach 50,000Rs (€1,276) per acre. Busguth S. has worked in lychee farming for over thirty years, but this year 6 of his trees have been completely destroyed and he says he can now only harvest 10% of his production. Him and his family camp in the orchard to chase off the bats at night and even in the day children bang sticks on metal sheets to scare them off. “As of 6pm thousands flock to our lychees” he says. 

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