Recently, an official from National Research Centre on Litchi (NRCL) informed that Litchi is now being cultivated across 19 Indian states across India.
About Litchi cultivation
- Litchi is a delicious juicy fruit of excellent quality. Botanically it belongs to Sapindaceae family.
- The translucent, flavoured aril or edible flesh of the litchi is popular as a table fruit in India.
- Agro-climatic requirements
- Litchi is a sub-tropical fruit and thrives best under moist sub-tropical climate.
- It usually prefers low elevation and can be grown up to an altitude of 800 m.
- Soil: Deep, well drained loamy soil, rich in organic matter and having pH in the range of 5.0 to 7.0 is ideal for the crop.
- Temperature: The temperature should not go beyond 40.5 0C in summer and below freezing point in winter.
- Rain: Prolonged rain may be harmful especially at the time of flowering, when it interferes with pollination.
- The young trees require protection against frost and hot winds for several years till they are firmly established, even though some variation in temperature is necessary for proper fruiting of trees.
- Frost during winter and dry heat in summer are limiting factors for its successful cultivation.
- In India, commercial cultivation was traditionally restricted to the north in the foothills of Himalayas from Tripura to Jammu & Kashmir and plains of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
- However, with growing demand and viability of the crop, commercial cultivation has spread to several other states viz. Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh etc.
- India is the second largest producer of litchi in the World after China. Other major producing countries are Thailand, Australia, South Africa, Madagascar and Florida in US.
Q1) What is Loamy soil?
It is a type of soil that is considered to be ideal for plant growth. It is a balanced soil composition that combines three main soil particles: sand, silt, and clay, in roughly equal proportions.