Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Invest in longan processing: ministry

Invest in longan processing: ministry

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Longan – also known by the botanical name Dimocarpus longan – is a tropical evergreen tree species native to Asia that produces edible fruit of the soapberry family, which also includes lychees and rambutan. FACEBOOK

Invest in longan processing: ministry

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has called for increased private sector investment in longan processing for export, as the Kingdom seeks to negotiate market access with phytosanitary authorities in a number of countries.

The move intends to broaden markets for local longan growers struggling to sell their produce to traders, processors and exporters, which are significantly bogged down by plant-protection barriers and a raft of other obstacles posed by the pandemic.

Longan – also known by the botanical name Dimocarpus longan – is a tropical evergreen tree species native to Asia that produces edible fruit of the soapberry family, which also includes lychees and rambutan.

According to Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon, in Cambodia the fruit, branded as “Pailin longan”, is mostly grown in the provinces of Pailin and Battambang, and in parts of Preah Vihear province.

The ministry said in a letter on August 20 that Pailin longan are a restricted commodity subject to phytosanitary barriers. This, it said, requires Cambodian phytosanitary authorities to negotiate deals in advance for market access with counterparts in other countries, who must assess biosecurity risks posed by pests associated with the fruit.

In this context, building and maintaining the infrastructure for cleaning, disinfecting and packaging, and ensuring compliance with agreed phytosanitary requirements is an important technical task in the negotiation, inspection and evaluation phases, and even after exports begin, it noted.

The ministry called on the private sector, the agricultural community, relevant institutions and the public to join its drive to stimulate fresh longan exports, by investing in the necessary infrastructure and expand existing facilities, so that more fruit can be bought to process for export to the countries with which the Kingdom signs new phytosanitary requirements protocols and keep pace with demand.

Earlier this month, Cambodia and Vietnam agreed on phytosanitary requirements permitting Cambodian longan to enter the Vietnamese market, according to the ministry.

Minister Sakhon said in an interview with National Television of Cambodia (TVK) on August 20 that the government needed about $49 million to buy Pailin longan from farmers banned by Thailand from exporting.

“According to estimates for direct purchases from plantation owners, Pailin longan this year will have an average price of 1,800 riel [$0.44] per kg, so we’ll need about $49 million to buy them all of the farmers’ output. The expected yield of longan is about 110,000 tonnes this year,” he said.

The ministry said it and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation are working with the relevant authorities of China and Thailand to conclude talks over phytosanitary requirements for longan exports as soon as possible.

Pailin longan is expected to be the third Cambodian fruit to be officially exported directly to the Chinese market, after bananas and, more recently, mangoes, according to the agriculture minister. But as the ministry’s director-general for Agriculture Ngin Chhay previously told The Post, Chinese authorities only consider a single product per country at a time to import.

Farmers and exporters to Thailand have been dealing with severe market pressures following the neighbouring country’s complete halt in purchases of Cambodian longan, after China on August 13 imposed a ban on Thai longan over contamination with mealybugs, which it lifted just four days later.

Pailin longan cultivation has reached 13,608ha nationwide, of which 7,000ha will be harvested this season. The trees yield an average of between seven and 30 tonnes per hectare depending on crop maintenance. And according to the Pailin Longan Association, the harvest typically occurs from August to end-December.

MOST VIEWED

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a

  • Textile industry minimum wage now $200

    The official minimum wage for workers in textile-related sectors including garment, footwear, and travel goods for 2023 was pegged at $198, with Prime Minister Hun Sen stepping in to add $2 to the total, making it $200 per month. The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training made the announcement