Litchi: Now Pre­serve it for 60 Days

Sci­en­tists at BARC and Na­tional Re­search Cen­tre on Litchi suc­ceed in treat­ing litchi and pre­serv­ing it for 60 days at low tem­per­a­ture

Rural & Marketing - - AGRIBUSINESS -

Bi­har is the top Litchi pro­duc­ing State, about 300 thou­sand met­ric tonnes of Litchi is be­ing pro­duced from 32 thou­sand hectare ar­eas. Litchi pro­duc­ers of the State was fac­ing a tough chal­lenge to pre­serve it for a longer pe­riod. Their wor­ries are over now. Sci­en­tists at Bhabha Atomic Re­search Cen­tre (BARC) and Na­tional Re­search Cen­tre on Litchi suc­ceeded in treat­ing litchi and pre­serv­ing it for 60 days at low tem­per­a­ture.

Re­cently Union Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Radha Mo­han Singh in­au­gu­rated a state-of-theart Litchi Pro­cess­ing Plant in Muzaffarpur, Bi­har. He said, “The main ob­jec­tive of the Cen­tral Gov­ern­ment is fo­cused on re­search to de­velop new va­ri­eties and tech­niques of litchi farm­ing to in­crease its pro­duc­tion and to share in­for­ma­tion with the Ex­ten­sion Di­vi­sion.”

In Bi­har, about 300 thou­sand met­ric tonnes of Litchi is be­ing pro­duced from 32 thou­sand hectares of area. Bi­har's con­tri­bu­tion in the pro­duc­tion of litchi is about 40 per­cent. Con­sid­er­ing the im­por­tance of litchi, Na­tional Re­search Cen­tre on Litchi was es­tab­lished on June 6, 2001. The con­tri­bu­tion of Muzaffarpur district in Litchi’s pro­duc­tion is im­pres­sive, but there is a need to in­crease the pro­duc­tiv­ity of litchi, which is cur­rently 8.0 tonne. For this, all the gov­ern­ment in­sti­tu­tions, co­op­er­a­tives and farm­ers will have to come for­ward.

It is promis­ing to note 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 tech­nique will be use­ful for the Litchi pro­duc­ers and busi­ness­men. To make this tech­nique ef­fec­tive, Litchi pro­duc­ers will have to pro­duce su­pe­rior qual­ity fruits for which Na­tional Re­search Cen­tre on Litchi has de­vel­oped sev­eral tech­niques.

The Na­tional Re­search Cen­tre on Litchi is pro­vid­ing about 3540 thou­sand plants every year to var­i­ous in­sti­tu­tions/states in the coun­try. The Na­tional Re­search Cen­tre on Litchi is work­ing closely with other in­sti­tu­tions of ICAR and agri­cul­tural uni­ver­si­ties of the state and the development cen­tres of the Cen­tral and State Gov­ern­ments like Na­tional Hor­ti­cul­ture Board, APEDA, Na­tional Hor­ti­cul­ture Mis­sion among oth­ers.

The sci­en­tists are work­ing day and night to de­velop ad­vanced va­ri­eties and agri­cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties and that State Gov­ern­ments, KVKs and other in­sti­tu­tions should take it to the masses. Through its lim­ited resources, the Cen­tre has im­ple­mented ICAR’s Farm­ers First project in East Cham­paran district. As many as 1,000 fam­i­lies from 8 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

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.

It is ex­pected that new va­ri­eties and new tech­no­log­i­cal break­through will help Litchi farm­ers, pro­duc­ers and traders of Bi­har and the en­tire na­tion in in­creas­ing their in­come.

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