Lychee harvest began on the 17th November in Madagascar and producers hope to export 17,000 tons this season. According to Simon Rakotondrahova from the SCRIMAD, the lychees this year should be of a “very good quality thanks to climate conditions that were extremely favourable”.

The main aim for producers is to increase their market presence and find new markets. “For 7 years now we have been turning towards the Middle East, but France and Germany continue until now to represent 90% of our exports” says Mr Rakotondrahova.

The efforts made to improve the quality of production should be beneficial. Following the discovery of sulphur residue on lychees exported from Madagascar to Germany in 2008, the country has been concentrating on production and packaging techniques that should eliminate such residue.

Today, the country’s production satisfies European requirements concerning absence of residue and sulphur and can now have a presence on the American market where sulphur presence is forbidden.

Madagascar generally only exports one fifth of their lychees.