The litchi production in Jammu is likely to cross 4,000 MT this year at an average production of 8-12 MT per hectare.
The Horticulture Department has identified some areas where production can be increased substantially like Marh area where farmers have extensively grown Litchi orchards.
The Department is producing quality planting material which starts bearing at an age of 3-4 years. Last year, a sufficient number of quality planting materials of cultivars viz. Dehradun and Calcuttia were propagated by layering. The best quality planting material is available with the Department at Govt. Fruit Plant Nursery, Maralia and Garhi in Jammu District and the Department is encouraging the farmers to establish new orchards with micro irrigation system.
Nearly fifty hectare of area is expected to be brought under Litchi crop during current financial year with the assistance of department of Horticulture. Litchi fruit a good source of Vitamin C, although being perishable and cannot be preserved for a long time in absence of cold storage facilities, yet the farmers are fetching good income from the Litchi crop during these days.
The farmers have set up their sale outlets in the orchards itself due to lack of marketing facilities. Recently, the orchardists have adopted INM/ IPM practices in their orchards, the technical know how of which is being provided by the departmental field functionaries. The success of these practices is being acknowledged by the orchardists in controlling attack of nut borer and other insect-pests and due to which the quality of fruit has also shown encouraging results.