During the last decades, litchi production in Mauritius has increasingly contributed to revenue generation to growers, intermediaries and exporters. However, this economic activity is based on a unique commercial variety, the Tai So which has an average fruit weight of 20 g, a o brix (TSS) of 18 to 23 and pulp to seed ratio of 6:1. This variety is grown in backyards and intensively in orchards.
For the past years, FAREI has evaluated different litchi varieties imported from China, Australia and Israel, namely, Bengal, Yook Ho Pow, Fay Si Shu, Gee Kee, Huai Zhi, Yuan Zhi, Hei Ye, Heong Lai, B3, Seedless, Casino and Jensen. Out of these varieties, Yook Ho Pow has been found promising in terms of regularity of flowering, adaptability to various agro climatic zones of Mauritius, and fruit characteristics (large fruit weight of 27 to 32 g, a TSS of 21 to 23, pulp to seed ratio of 15:1 and low acidity). The main drawback of the variety is its poor peel colour when ripe, which can be addressed with consumer sensitisation.
Therefore, the Yook Ho Pow variety is being now recommended for orchards together with Tai So variety. In new orchards, the Yook Ho Pow variety can be up to 10% of the trees planted. A launching ceremony was held at FAREI Pamplemousses Experiment Station in November 2016 in order to promote the Yook Ho Pow variety. Fruits of the Yook Ho Pow and Tai So varieties were displayed so that litchi growers and exporters could distinguish between the two varieties. Yook Ho Pow plants can be ordered at Barkly ES, Beau Bassin (agriculture.govmu.org)