Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM orders purchase of longan

PM orders purchase of longan

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen during a fruit fair before the pandemic. TVK

PM orders purchase of longan

Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered the purchase of longans – an edible fruit similar to lychee, also of the soapberry family – from farmers in all provinces along the Cambodian-Thai border who have been unable to export their produce due to Covid-19 restrictions.

An indefinite Chinese ban on Thai longan imposed on August 13 over contamination with mealybugs has thrown a wrench into Cambodian exports of the fruit to the neighbouring country.

And industry insiders have voiced concern that as the harvest season ramps up in Cambodia, tens of thousands of tonnes of longan will be unable to reach their intended destinations as Thai traders and importers cancel orders, and a considerable portion of the fruit could be left to rot.

Cambodia’s longan harvest will then be distributed to frontline workers and border forces throughout Battambang province, according to government plans.

The announcement comes after more than 40 tonnes of longan transiting through Pailin province were recently spoiled after being stuck at the Doung International Border Checkpoint in Duong commune of Battambang province’s Kamrieng district due to border closure by Thai authorities over Covid-19 concerns.

Hing Bun Heang, deputy director of Hun Sen’s cabinet and the official who directly received the order to purchase all longans from Cambodia’s farmers, told The Post on August 17 that the longans would all be bought at the same price they would have fetched in Thailand.

He said the government purchase of longans would not do much to limit the available quantity of the fruit from other sources, because a great many farmers have them for sale.

“We will give the fruit to military, police and border forces that are fighting Covid-19 throughout Battambang province,” he said.

He said that if the purchased quantity exceeds demand for the whole of Battambang province, the team will still continue to buy longans and distribute them to the frontline forces in other provinces along the Cambodian-Thai border.

The Pailin Longan Grower’s Association’s vice-chairman Suon Chum said he and other members were aware of the news and were very happy that the head of government helped solve the members of their association’s problems so quickly.

“Pailin’s longan harvest just started this month . . . It’s just the starting month, when each farmer gathers their fruit, typically about 10 to 20 tonnes for each farmer. So it’s over this next month that the large-scale harvesting will take place,” he said.

According to Chum, the current market price for longans that wholesalers are paying ranges from 2,000 riel to 2,500 riel per kg, depending on the quality of the fruit. Traders resell them in Thailand at a price of about 25 Baht or 3,000 riel per kg.

He added that if possible, he would like to suggest that the government set up a specific location to collect and store the fruit so farmers can bring their produce there and sell it all in the same place to make things easier and avoid accidental spoilage.

In accordance with that suggestion, the provincial administration designated the Veal Bek Chan football field located next to the 5th military command base in Romchek 4 village of Ratanak commune in Battambang town and province as the location for all government purchases from the longan farmers, which will begin on August 18.

According to the Battambang Provincial Administration’s press release, the purchase of the longan harvest demonstrates decisiveness and ingenuity on the part of Cambodia’s national leadership as well as their care and compassion for the plight of ordinary Cambodians – such as these humble longan farmers – who would otherwise be facing financial catastrophe.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Moody’s sets outlook rating to ‘negative’ for Cambodia

    US global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc on November 15 announced that it downgraded Cambodia’s outlook from “stable” to “negative” and maintained its B2 local and foreign currency issuer ratings. “The negative outlook reflects a deteriorating external position as illustrated by the severe

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Korean first lady paves way for ill boy’s surgery

    A 14-year-old boy with congenital heart disease who was lucky enough to meet with South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee may get the chance of a lifetime and receive surgery and treatment at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea. After seeing his plight, many

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol

  • Ministry to 'seek justice' for officials indicted in US for 'monkey smuggling'

    The Cambodian government and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said they will make the “utmost effort” to seek justice for a Cambodian official arrested in John F Kennedy International Airport in New York for allegedly conspiring to smuggle crab-eating macaque monkeys (Macaca fascicularis)