Pg 16-18 Post-harvest Diseases of Litchis and their Control

South Africa produces less than 5000 tons of litchis per annum of which less than half is exported (Swarts, 1985). One of the main reasons for this, is the rapid loss of marketability of litchis after harvest.  The litchi skin soon dries out after harvest and becomes brown and brittle. The fruit is also susceptible to postharvest decay caused by a variety of micro-organisms. Roth (1963) examined the micro-organisms involved in the decay of litchi fruit and found that bacteria, yeasts and several other fungi were present in the proportion 3:96:1.

Due to high air tariffs, most of the South African litchis are exported to overseas markets by ship. As a result of this, fruit is stored for up to 30 days before reaching the consumer (Swarts and Anderson, 1980). For a postharvest treatment to be effective, it must therefore protect the fruit from decay for up to 30 days/

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