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Litchi(lychee) farming, yield per acre, requirements, investment, and profit per acre

Litchi is a very popular seasonal fruit in moist subtropical regions. It is full of Vitamin-C, potassium, and Copper. Litchi is very healthy for the human body as it contains important elements like carbs, sugar, and fiber.

There are very few regions in India where people practice litchi farming. Although litchi farming is a profitable business it takes at least 4 to years for the first harvesting of litchi fruits. A litchi tree can live up to 60 years and can bear litchi fruit for 40 years in its lifetime. 

Let's understand litchi farming properly. For that, we will discuss here the requirements, investment, and profit margin of the litchi farming business. 

Litchi farming and production per acre

A litchi tree has dark green leaves and it can grow up to 12 meters in height. A young litchi tree produces fewer litchi fruits in starting. With growing with time, it increases its overall production throughout the years. 

litchi farming

Let's understand the requirements to grow a litchi tree. 

Requirements to grow litchi

Plantation rules

Plantation rules are very important in tree farming. It is responsible for the growth of the plants in a consistent manner. 

In case of litchi, you should keep in mind the following rules of the plantation- 

  • The line to line distance- 4 meters
  • Plant to plant distance- 4 meters

Temperature and climate

Litchi plants feel comfortable in moderate temperatures with the least humidity during sowing. From sprouting to becoming a young plant, it requires less temperature from 20 degrees Celcius to 25 degrees Celcius. When the litchi plant becomes a tree, it can handle temperature variation.  

At the time of fruit-bearing, the litchi tree needs moderate temperature. Litchi fruits become mature faster in high temperatures between 32 degrees Celcius to 40 degrees Celcius. 

Soil type and pH

Drained loamy soil is best for litchi farming. This soil should contain a pH of range 5.3 to 6.9. 

Fertilizers for litchi farming

We need fertilizers to provide a boost in initial growth. We can use organic compost or black vermicompost for quality growth. Although it works slowly but effectively. 

For one litchi plant, we need 2 kg of vermicompost every 30 days from sowing. When it becomes a tree from the plant, we don't use regular composting. 

Pruning of litchi plants

The important point of horticulture is the proper pruning of plants. Initially, pruning helps to produce fruits faster. 

It means, we cut the new appearing leaves on each stem. The purpose of pruning is to stop the unnecessary growth of plants and convert it to produce more fruits. 

Pruning also helps to save space for more trees and production. 

Mulching in litchi trees

In later periods, when the litchi plant becomes a tree, people hesitate to provide them with vermicompost or fertilizer. Mulching is a process to make a cover of dry leaves and dry organic materials to cover the soil near roots. It maintains the moisture in the soil for a longer period.

It is better to start mulching in mid-summer. In the rainy season, it starts to decompose and convert into natural fertilizer. It also helps in soil regeneration. 

Flowering on litchi tree

After a long wait of  4 to 5 years, the litchi tree starts to produce flowers that convert into litchi fruits later. 

It takes at least 1 month to convert from flower to fruit. In the next two months, litchi gets mature and converts into a red fresh sweet fruit. 

Litchi picking

It is easy to pick litchi. Use a long handle stick with an attached picking tool at the toe. With the help of this tool, you don't need to climb on the tree. 

People use heavy machines to pick up the litchi in many places. It is a faster way but if you have a small litchi farm then surely it can increase your cost. 

Litchi yield per acre 

It is necessary to plant all the litchi plants at a certain distance to let them expand in the future. With a distance of 4x4, we can plant 80 trees easily.

Initially, first yield harvesting is very low. Growing with time, litchi trees have good production.  

One fully grown litchi tree can produce 50 to 70 kg of litchi in a season(1 season in a year). So 80 trees can produce 4 tons to 5.6 tons of litchi per year. 

Hence, we can get 4 to 5.6 tons of litchi yield from one acre. 

Season of growing litchi

Generally, litchi plantations start from the start of the rainy season. It slows down the process of growing in winters. 

From the spring season, the litchi plant gets faster growth. Throughout the whole year, the litchi tree handles the temperature variation from 5 degrees Celcius to 45 degrees Celcius. 

After a long wait of 5 years, the litchi plant starts flowering for fruits. Generally, from the end of the winter season and the start of spring(from February last to mid-March), the litchi tree starts flowering. 

We can harvest litchi in May-June every year from its 5th year of plantation. 

Investment to grow litchi per acre 

  • Litchi plants cost- 1,600 INR(80 plants)
  • Irrigation cost- 4,000 INR
  • Fertilizers cost- 4,000 INR
  • Labor cost- 7,500 INR

Total cost first year- 17,100 INR 

Total cost second year- 15,500 INR

Total cost third year- 16,000 INR

Total cost fourth year- 15,000 INR

Total cost fifth year- 17,000 INR

Total cost till first harvesting- 80,600 INR

Profit on litchi farming per acre 

  • One litchi tree yield- 50 kg to 70 kg
  • Number of litchi trees per acre- 80 plants
  • Total yield per acre- 4 tons to 5.6 tons
  • Toal yield first year- 0 kg
  • Total yield second year- 0 kg
  • Total yield third year- 0 kg
  • Total yield fourth year- 0 kg

Total yield fifth year- 4 tons

  • Price of 1 kg litchi- 60 INR 
  • Total yield price per acre- 2,40,000 INR

Yield price fifth year- 2,40,000 INR

Profit margin fifth year- 2,40,000 INR-17,000 INR= 2,23,000 INR

Overall profit margin till first harvesting- 2,40,000-80,600 INR= 1,59,400 INR

Litchi profit margin from 6th year(per season)- 2,25,000 INR to 2,40,000 INR

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