Those fresh, luscious litchis you are treating yourself every day are making their way to your local markets all the way from Bihar in trucks — and air conditioned ones, no less! And in return, citizens of the eastern state are receiving consignments of imported fruits and seasonal vegetables from our city.
Following a massive surplus production of litchis, the agriculture-marketing department of Bihar decided to supply batches of the fresh fruit to Mumbai, where the fruit is sold for the highest prices. The APMC market in Mumbai was approached by the agriculture-marketing department of Bihar a few days ago, and the transaction was agreed upon, that assured Mumbaikars sufficient quantities of the delectable fruit. Around 2,000 boxes containing around 5,600 kg of litchi is being delivered to the APMC market everyday.
Avinash Patil, deputy secretary of the vegetables wing of Mumbai APMC market, said “A few days ago, we were contacted by officials of the agriculture-marketing department of Bihar. They proposed to send litchis in air-conditioned trucks to the APMC market. We asked them to send the batches in fresh condition, so that we would find a good market for them. As per the decision, we have been receiving a supply of litchi in air-conditioned trucks for the past few days. These litchis are fresh and of superior quality than the litchis that come via trains.”
Litchis from Bihar earlier used to come by the rail route taking over three days to reach Mumbai. According to the APMC, the agriculture-marketing department of Bihar has received a healthy demand for the fruit, and plans to increase supply of the fruit next year onwards. It costs between Rs 25,000-30,000 for every truck full of litchis to make its way from Bihar to Mumbai. So in order to compensate the expenses, the department has started supplying imported fruits and seasonal vegetables to Bihar from Mumbai in the same trucks.
“In order to compensate the expenses incurred to supply litchis in air-conditioned trucks, the agriculture-marketing department of Bihar has started importing fruits like apples and seasonal vegetables like cauliflower in the same trucks,” said Patil. At present, litchi is being sold for Rs 650-850 per 10 kg at the APMC market, and it is likely to be available till the end of this month.
Litchis being delivered to the APMC market every day
The cost incurred by each truck full of litchis to make its way from Bihar to Mumbai