By Manoj Pathak
Muzaffarpur, Oct 18 (IANS) Shahi litchi, the luschious fruit of Bihar, is now readying to get a new home in South India. What’s even better, the litchi from the South will be available in winter.
Vishal Nath, director of the National Litchi Research Institute told IANS: “Litchi produce will now be grown in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. We’ve been preparing for this for the past seven years. In 2012-13, we had sent thousands of litchi saplings to these areas. Now these saplings have become trees that are ready to bear fruits.”
Nath said one ripe litchi from these trees is likely to weigh around 40 gram.
He said he had in August done a survey of the areas under litchi cultivation in South India. “A team from the institute will soon visit these areas again to understand the problems of the growers,” he said.
Litchi cultivation has been started in Wayanad, Idukki and Kalpeta in Kerala, Kodagu, Chikmanglur and Hassan in Karnataka, and Palani Hills and Ooty in Tamil Nadu after training fruit growers in these areas.
According to Nath, the weather in these areas is ideal for readying the produce in winter months of November and December.
Specially famous for its sweet flavour and fragrance, Bihar’s Shah litchi is a brand in itself with a GI tag of its own.