Patna: Murlidhar Sharma and Bhola Nath Jha, litchi farmers from Bihar, are happy like never before. Their luscious "organic litchis" will be gifted to President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi, officials said here on Monday.
Sharma and Jha, of Muzaffarpur district, are the owners of an organic orchard of litchis that attracted the attention of district administration. It picked on their litchis to be gifted to Mukherjee and Modi as a gesture from Bihar.
"We have identified the orchard from where organic, sweet and juicy shahi (royal) litchis would be sent to the president and the prime minister in early June as a gift from Bihar," district agriculture officer Sarvajit Kumar said.
Kumar told IANS that the district administration is preparing to send 600 baskets of organic shahi litchis to VIPs in New Delhi as a gift.
Another district official, Ashok Kumar Rao said the best quality shahi litchis would be sent to Modi and that they "are not taking any chances" with the quality of the fuit.
This practice to gift litchis to the VIPs in New Delhi was started by former chief minister Nitish Kumar to promote the state`s agri-products, an official said.
The official said the summer gift would help promote Bihar`s special fruits in the national and international market.
Vishal Nath, director of the Muzaffarpur-based National Research Centre for Litchi, said northern Bihar, including Muzaffarpur, accounts for over 62 percent of the country`s litchi produce.
He said shahi litchi is famous for its unique flavour and taste.