India proudly wears the crown of being the largest producer of litchi in the world, with Bihar topping the states in terms of production. In 2018, Shahi Litchis from Bihar's Muzzafarpur district became the fourth agricultural product from the state to receive GI certification.
However, transporting litchi is difficult due to its low shelf life. In 2013 alone, the total loss in the litchi supply chain ranged from 35.3 to 43.8% - a true tragedy for this tastiest of fruits. This still stands true even though consumer demand for the fleshy fruit remains high.
Now, Superplum, an Indian Agritech company, has built the country’s first modern supply chain to deliver fresh litchis from farms in Muzzafarpur to all over the country. For the first time in India (as the company says), litchis are being chilled, trimmed, cleaned and packed at the farm level to retain freshness. They are then transported using Superplum's Fresherator, a proprietary IoT-based transport system that keeps the fruits fresh in an environment that can be remotely monitored and controlled.
In the past, some litchis would go through a sulphitation process to increase their shelf life but this process made the fruit unfit to consume, due to which it has been banned in several countries. With a promise to deliver safe-to-eat fruits, Superplum employs science and technology to increase the shelf life of litchis through a proprietary multi-faceted approach.
While these Muzzafarpur Litchis are currently being delivered to stores and homes in Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida and Bengaluru, the company plans to expand their delivery across the country and the world.