Bihar is the top litchi-producing state in India, contributing about 40 percent of the total production, most of which comes from Muzaffarpur district. The overall production is about 3,00,000 metric tonnes from 32 thousand hectares.
Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh said while Muzaffarpur district's contribution in litchi production was impressive, there is a need to increase the productivity, currently at eight tonnes.
"It is a matter of immense pride that scientists at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and National Research Centre on Litchi have succeeded in treating litchi and preserving it for 60 days at low temperature. One of its processing plants has also been developed," the ministry said in a statement.
"The National Research Centre on Litchi is providing about 35-40 thousand plants every year to various institutions/states in the country," the statement added and quoted Singh as saying that the Centre was working closely with other institutions of ICAR and agricultural universities of the state.
As many as 1,000 families from eight villages -- Mehsi Block-Uzhilpur, Bakri Najir, Damodarpur Village, Chakia Block- Khairwa, Ramgarha, Jishnupura, Ojha Tola-Vaishah and Chintanpur-Malahi Tola village -- are reaping the benefits of several new techniques. And the unique initiative by the council allows farmers to test advanced technology themselves. And now there is a need to create awareness about it.
"Through 'Mera Gaon- Mera Gaurav' program, scientists have been successful in taking new techniques to some villages. The Centre has initiated Health Card scheme through which orchards are being examined and farmers are being sensitised. Not just Bihar, litchi fruit farming can be successfully done in other parts of the country too. Therefore, there is a need to promote research in these areas too," the ministry said.