Litchi.. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, May 24 : In a major boost to export of GI (geographical indication) certified products, India on Monday exported the season's first consignment of 'Shahi Litchi' from Bihar to United Kingdom via the air route.

In industry parlance, a GI certified products corresponds to a specific geographical location of origin.

"The phyto-sanitary certification for exports of 'Shahi Litchi' was issued from newly established certification facility at Patna," an official statement said.

"Because of short-shelf life of litchi, there is need to explore exports opportunities for the processed and value-added products." According to the statement, 'Shahi litchi' is the fourth agricultural product to get GI certification from Bihar after 'Jardalu' mango, 'Katarni' rice and 'Magahi' paan.

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

Currently, Bihar tops in terms of production of litchi in India.

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