Litchi - A promising fruit crop in Eastern India
Authors: Narayan Lal, Sakshi Agrawal, Alok Kumar Gupta and Sanjay Kumar Singh

The Litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) belongs to family Sapindaceae and is known as the queen of the fruits. Its systemic cultivation started in 1500 BC in China. It was introduced in Burma by the end of 17th Century. It came to India through Burma about 100 years later and from these places it spread to other parts of the tropical and subtropical areas. It is highly specific to climatic requirement, probably due to this reason, its cultivation is restricted to only few tropical and subtropical countries in the world, where it is grown commercially. India is the second largest producer of litchi in the World after China. Other major producing countries are Israel, Australia, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, some parts of Africa and at higher elevations in Mexico and central and South America. India and China account for 91 per cent of the world litchi production but it is marketed locally. Among fruit crops, litchi ranks seventh in area and ninth in production but is sixth in terms of value in India. The national average productivity of litchi is 6.1 t/ha, which is much lower than the realizable yield of the crop under well managed condition. It is most popular fruit crops in India and mostly grown in Eastern India. It is introduced fruit crop and it has great potential of yield in India. The trend reveals that area of litchi is expanding.

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