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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1293: VI International Symposium on Lychee, Longan and Other Sapindaceae Fruits

Litchi production and marketing in India: recent trends and important issues

Authors:   M. Kumar, P.K. Ray
Keywords:   litchi, production, India, marketing, supply chains, price fluctuations, profitability, export, cool chain logistics, quality control
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1293.7
Abstract:
India is the second largest litchi producing country in the world with an annual harvest of over 0.6 million t of fresh litchis. Production figures of the past 16 years reveal that the acreage under this fruit has increased by 60% with the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of area expansion being 3%. Almost the entire produce is marketed afresh for domestic consumption. A meagre <0.5% of the total production is used for processing. Only a minuscule quantity of the total production (147 t) was exported in 2018. The fresh fruits are either sold in different local town markets or sent to cities including metropolises like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. In different cities a wide variation in unit sale was observed both in wholesale and retail trading. Considering the highly perishable nature of the fruits and the transportation cost, the price rise in Delhi market or abroad was not congruent with the efforts put in the long-distance marketing. There is an urgent need to bridge the productivity gaps as the output increase in the past decade is mostly through area expansion. This paper examines trends of yearly price fluctuations and profitability in sale through different outlets. Also, the major issues like limitations to use advanced production technologies, gaps in forward and backward integration of the supply chain, lack of infrastructure for efficient marketing, competition in the export trade and need for supportive government policies are discussed to provide practical insight into the kind of work required for better commercial gains from this crop.

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