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First consignment of GI certified Shahi Litchi from Bihar exported to UK: Commerce ministry

India exported the season’s first consignment of Shahi Litchi from Bihar to the United Kingdom by air route on Monday, the commerce ministry said. It was a GI-certified product. The GI tag helps growers get premium price of the product as no other producer can misuse the name to market similar goods.

A geographical indication (GI) tag is used for an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicraft and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory. Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to the place of its origin.

Darjeeling tea, Tirupathi laddu, Kangra paintings, Nagpur orange and Kashmir pashmina are among the registered GIs in India.

The ministry said because of the short shelf life of litchi, there is a need to explore export opportunities for processed and value-added products.

“Shahi litchi was the fourth agricultural product to get GI certification from Bihar in 2018, after Jardalu mango, Katarni rice and Magahi paan. GI registration for Shahi Litchi is held with the Muzaffarpur-based Litchi Growers Association of Bihar,” it said.

Muzzafarpur, Vaishali, Samastipur, Champaran, Begusarai districts and adjoining areas of Bihar have favourable climate for growing Shahi Litchi.

India is the second largest producer of litchi (Litchi chin) in the world, after China.

The translucent, flavoured aril or edible flesh of the litchi is popular as a table fruit in India, while in China and Japan it is preferred in dried or canned form.

Bihar tops in terms of production of litchi in the country.

The Bihar government is making efforts for creating required infrastructures such as customs clearance facility, laboratory testing facility, pack-houses and pre-cooling facilities, which would harness and boost agricultural exports potential of the state, it added.

Source: The Economic Times

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