OVERVIEW OF LITCHI PRODUCTION IN THE WORLD WITH SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO CHINA
Litchi is a minor crop in most countries. It is estimated that the world annual production is between 2.6 and 2.8 million tons. The duration of litchi fruit harvest highly relies on cultivars, latitudes and altitudes. Due to both chill requirement for floral induction and sensitivity to cold damages, litchi is a typical subtropical fruit tree and only commercially grown in two narrow strips from 17 to 26 degree latitude of the Southern and Northern Hemispheres. Litchi is produced in the elevation from nearly sea level to 1,100 m in the high areas. In most litchi producing countries and regions, even in China, the selection for quality cultivars is very limited. Irregular bearing is still a pending issue in some areas mainly caused by unreliable flowering. In China, litchi tree numbers have been slightly reduced due to tree thinning and orchard reformation. However, the production has kept on increasing, from 1.45 million tons in 2005 to around 1.9 million tons in 2011. The domestic market is the main orientation. High labor costs, lack of cold chain facilities and low initiatives of growers are the major non-technical constraints in the industry. Litchi research and development has been strongly supported by the Chinese Government since 2005. The National Litchi and Longan Research System was set up in 2008 and 16 researchers are screened to take care of industry research. Twelve experimental stations responsible for field experiments and technology demonstration and training for growers have been set up in six provinces. The system is considered to be a very important contributor to the sustainable development of the industry.
Chen, H.B. and Huang, X.M. (2014). OVERVIEW OF LITCHI PRODUCTION IN THE WORLD WITH SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO CHINA. Acta Hortic. 1029, 25-33
world production, production constraints, litchi research, industry development, technology