How to go about Litchi farming and maximize your profit
Litchi is in high demand all around the world due of its unique flavor. It has a high amount of vitamin C. Although China is the world’s greatest producer of litchi, India is not far behind.
Every year, India produces over 1 lakh tones of litchi. In both the domestic and foreign markets, good quality litchi is in high demand. Although most litchis are eaten fresh, the fruits are also used to make jams, sherbet, nectar, carbonated drinks, and other products.
In India, where is the most litchi grown?
Bihar produces the most litchi in India, with the districts of Muzzafarpur and Darbhanga producing the most. West Bengal, Assam, Uttarakhand, and Punjab follow Bihar.
Litchi Cultivation Climate
Litchi cultivation is suited to the temperate climate. Because of the clear and dry sky during flowering in January-February, good Manjari is produced in litchi, resulting in more fruits. Fruit development, pulp development, and quality are all good in March and April due to the cooler weather. Litchi growing necessitates a certain climate. Northern Bihar, the Dehradun valley, the Terai region of Uttar Pradesh, and some portions of Jharkhand state are all good places to grow it. Litchi flowers bloom in January and February, while the fruits ripen in May and June.
Choosing the right soil
Litchi cultivation requires a deep sandy loam soil with a strong water retention capacity. Litchi can be grown on somewhat acidic and laterite soils, however it cannot be grown in wet areas. As a result, farming it on ground with plenty of water yields good results.
Shahi: This is a country-wide commercial and early variety with spherical fruits and dark red skin. And the insides are a luscious white. This variety’s fruits ripen between 15 and 30 May. This cultivar is known for its aromatic flavor and high pulp content. A 15-20 year old plant of this kind can provide 80-100 kg of yield each year.
China: This is a late-maturing cultivar with little plants. The fruits of this cultivar are not susceptible to cracking. It is in high demand due to the fruit’s deep red color and large volume of pulp. With the exception of one year, this cultivar bears fruit in the second year.
Swarna Rupa: This type is suitable for Chotanagpur’s plateau location. Its fruits ripen in a reasonable amount of time and are not prone to shattering. The anus is sweeter than the seed because it is smaller.
Litchi types such as Early Bedana, D- Rose, and Tricolia are also good.
Propagation of plants
The gooty process is used to prepare litchi plants for commercial cultivation. Plants grown from seeds do not produce high-quality fruits and their fruiting is delayed. In the months of May and June, healthy and straight branches are chosen to prepare seedlings using the Gooty method. A 2 cm wide ring is formed with a knife near any knot 40-50 cm below the top of this branch. At the upper end of the rings, there are 2000 ppm of IBA. A quantity of paste is prepared and applied to rings or rings. The rings are wrapped in moist moss grass and topped with a piece of polythene that is firmly secured with twine to allow air to enter. Within 2 months of tying the gooty, the roots are entirely eliminated. After that, cut the branch from the plant and set it in a slightly shady location, removing around half of the leaves.
How to Start a Plantation
In the months of April and May, the litchi plant should be planted in a 1 X 1 X 1 size trench at a distance of 10 X 10 meters. Fill the pit with 2-3 baskets of decomposed cow dung, 2 kg neem cake cake, and 1 kg single super phosphate soil at the start of the rainy season. Fill the pit 20-25 cm above the general level of the field in places with high rainfall so that the soil is hidden and water does not accumulate around the plant for a long time.
Protection of plants
Fruit burst: Fruit bursting is a typical problem with litchi. Moisture in the soil and strong hot gusts cause this problem. Fruit bursting is more common in the early maturing cultivars. Plant windproof trees around the garden and mulch in October to combat this. Maintain modest watering and sprinkle water on the trees from April till the ripening of the fruits. Along with this form of management, spray 5 grams per liter borax or 5 grams per liter soluble boron 20 percent solution 2-3 times every 15 days after 15 days of flowering.
The lychee mite is a little spider that clings to the lower surface of soft leaves, twigs, and inflorescences and suckers the juice continuously, causing the leaves to thicken and twist. The plants are weakened as a result of this. In one liter of water, spray 2 ml of Proparazite 57 percent EC or 0.4 ml of Abamectin 1.9 percent EC for control.
Twig borer: These pests penetrate through the delicate twigs of new plant shoots and consume the interior portion of the twigs, causing the twigs to dry up. The afflicted twig should be broken and burned as a preventative measure. Spray with a chemical treatment such as 1 ml of Cypermethrin or 5 percent SG Emamectin Benzoate @ 0.5 per liter of water. Spray Bavaria bassiana @ 2.5 g per liter of water as a biological therapy.
Fruit borer: These insects get inside the fruit and ruin it due to too much moisture. Spray Cypermethrin 25 percent EC @ 0.5 ml per liter of water 40-45 days before harvesting to avoid infestation. Depending on the situation, spray every 15 days.
Litchi Bug Infestation: Litchi Bug infestations are most common in March-April and July-August. By sucking the sap from sensitive twigs, leaves, and fruits, these pests weaken them. Aside from that, they prevent fruit from growing. Spray Cypermethrin 25 percent EC @ 0.5 ml or 1 ml Chlorpyrifos in 1 liter of water in this scenario.
Anthracnose disease causes brown stains on leaves, drooping leaves, and drying of twigs, among other symptoms. Spray Mancozeb 75 WP @ 2 grams per liter of water per acre to suppress it. Alternatively, use an organic spray of Trichoderma viridi at a concentration of 2 g/Ltr of water.
Read more : How to cultivate advanced tea leaves
Fertilizer & Manure
Litchi plants should be fed 30 kg of well decomposed cow dung, 2 kg of neem cake cake, 250 g urea, 150 g single super phosphate, and 100 g murate of potash per plant every year during the first few years. After three years, 35 kg well-rotted manure, 500 g urea, 2.5 kg neem cake cake, 500 g single super phosphate, and 600 g murate of potash per plant per year would be adequate. Increase the amount of cow dung to 40-50 kg per tree, urea to 1000-1500 g, single super phosphate to 1000 g, and potash muriate to 300-500 g for 7-10 year old crops.
When the crop reaches the stage of high fruiting, 60 kg of cow dung, 1600 g urea, 2.25 kg single super phosphate, and 600 g murate of potash per tree should be applied once a year.
Fertilization must be followed by irrigation. It’s best to fertilize litchi trees right after they’ve been harvested. As a result, plant bud growth and fruiting is favorable.
Arrangement for irrigation
Arrangement for irrigation
Following the installation of litchi plants, provide regular irrigation as needed. Irrigation should be done using the Thala method in 3-4 day intervals in the summer and 5-6 days in the winter. 3-4 months before flowering, stop watering the litchi tree when it reaches the fruiting stage (November to February). Flowering is encouraged as a result of this. Fruit development stalls and fruits begin to fracture due to a lack of water.
Due to the extensive branches of a fully developed tree, sunlight does not reach the tree, increasing the chances of pests and illnesses. As a result, in the first 3-4 years of litchi, remove any undesired or dry branches. Allow 3-4 major branches of the tree to develop; this will increase fruiting and prevent insect and disease attacks.
Growing weeds around trees makes pests and diseases more of a concern. Weeds can be removed by hand or using agricultural equipment. Weedicides should be avoided at all costs because they can harm trees.
Harvesting and storing fruits
The hue of the fruit changes to pink as it ripens, and the surface of the fruit flattens. Breaking the fruit into bunches is a good idea. This fruit cannot be kept for an extended period of time. To sell in the nearest market, it should be harvested when fully ripe, and to send to distant markets, it should be harvested when the fruit begins to turn pink. The fruits should be assessed after harvesting based on their color and size. Green litchi leaves should be spread out and packed into baskets. Litchi fruits should be stored at a temperature of 1.6-1.7 degrees Celsius and with a moisture content of 85-90 percent. The fruits can be preserved for 8-12 weeks in this manner.
Full mature 15-20 year old litchi trees may produce 70-100 kg fruits per tree each year on average.
For further information or to purchase a litchi plant, please contact us.
Many government horticulture institutes and agricultural universities can be contacted throughout the country.
The director of the National Research Center on Litchi in Muzaffarpur, Bihar, can be reached at 06212289475 or 09431813884.
Litchi cultivation training and saplings are offered from the National Research Center for Litchi in Muzaffarpur.