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

  • Cambodia to waive quarantine requirements Nov 15, no PCR test required

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has decided to lift all quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers and visitors – both Cambodians and foreign nationals – effective from November 15 onward. In a special message addressed to officials and relevant authorities on November 14, Hun Sen said this policy will enable

  • PM: No more quarantine for vaccinated travellers

    Cambodia is lifting all quarantine requirements for vaccinated inbound travellers entering Cambodia by air, waterway or land border checkpoints effective from November 15. Travellers will be required to take a rapid antigen test on arrival rather than waiting for the results of the lengthier polymerase chain

  • No payment required for travellers taking rapid Covid tests on arrival

    Ministry of Health officials said there would be no payment required for the rapid Covid-19 tests given to travellers who arrive in Cambodia from November 15 onwards after the quarantine requirement is lifted for fully vaccinated people. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told The Post on

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration