MADAGASCAR – Madagascar, the world’s third-largest lychee producer, witnessed a significant boost in its lychee export revenues in 2023.

The Central Bank of Madagascar (BFM) reported that the country earned 54.4 billion ariary (USD 12.1 million) from lychee exports this year.

Madagascar stands behind China and India in lychee production. The fruit, along with bananas, mangoes, and pineapples, forms a crucial part of Madagascar’s horticultural sector. The recent increase in lychee revenue represents an 18% rise compared to 2022’s 45.6 billion ariary (USD 10.2 million).

The rise in revenue can be attributed to a 7.4% increase in lychee shipment volumes, reaching 16,860 tonnes. Additionally, there was an 11% rise in the international market price of lychees.

In 2022, the price per kilogram was 2,905.9 ariary (USD 0.65), which increased to 3,225.6 ariary (USD 0.72) in 2023.

“The growth in both export volume and value has positively impacted our economy,” said a representative from the Lychee Exporters Group (GEL). “We are optimistic about maintaining this upward trend.”

The European Union remains the primary market for Malagasy lychees, accounting for about 90% of the exports. France, Belgium, and the Netherlands are among the top destinations. Smaller quantities also make their way to Canada, the United Kingdom, Morocco, Russia, Dubai, and the Comoros.

“The demand from European countries has been consistent,” noted an official from the Central Bank of Madagascar. “This has been a driving force behind the sustained growth in our lychee exports.”

The lychee sector employs approximately 45,000 people in Madagascar, particularly during the harvest season. This sector plays a vital role in providing employment and supporting the local economy.

The recent surge in export revenue is expected to further enhance economic stability and growth in the region.

In the 2022/23 season, Madagascar exported over 13,000 tonnes of lychees, slightly down from the nearly 18,000 tonnes exported the previous year. Despite this fluctuation, the sector has shown resilience and adaptability.

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