Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - China customs to assess longan for export

China customs to assess longan for export

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. SUPPLIED

China customs to assess longan for export

Cambodian longan is ready for a virtual risk assessment from the Chinese General Administration of Customs in the first week of January, a move that will pave the way for a new direct market for the fruit, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said in a notice.

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.

The notice said Pailin province’s sole treatment and packaging plant and a number of plantations selected by the ministry would undergo the risk assessment, which could lead to the signing of a technical protocol for the export of Cambodian longan to China.

The ministry has appealed to plantation owners among the ranks of the Pailin Longan Agricultural Production Cooperative (PLAPC) as well as the proprietor of the plant to be ready to cooperate with General Directorate of Agriculture (GDA) officials to ensure the success of the assessment.

It also urged owners of plantations and treatment and packaging plants to promptly apply at the GDA for permits to export longan to China.

Having received word of the assessment from the provincial Department of Agriculture, PLAPC president Suos Siyat said the cooperative will make every effort to guarantee that the cultivation and maintenance of longan trees are up to the standards required by China.

He said that of the more than 2,000 longan farming households in Pailin, only about 30 per cent cultivate under Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) conditions, and claimed that the remainder fall short of standards.

“We have to be very prepared for this because the Chinese market is so restricted, it won’t be easy for us to export if we don’t comply with their standards requirements.

“Nonetheless, if we can export soon, all longan farmers – not only those in Pailin – but also those in nearby provinces will no longer have to worry about the market,” Siyat said.

Provincial agriculture department director Say Sophat told The Post on December 23 that the department has organised community clusters and trained member farmers on GAP, and would provide further guidance on longan production, so as to meet the standards of the Chinese market.

He noted that the province’s sole treatment-cum-packaging plant uses a vapour heat treatment (VHT) system to sterilise crops and exterminate pests.

“We hope that the Chinese side – or trade partners with China – will allow us to export Cambodian longan, we will correct any shortcomings at the request of the Chinese side, especially those relating to phytosanitary standards,” he said.

Longan cultivation has reached about 5,000ha in the province, he said. However, only a fraction of the trees are mature and ready for harvest during any given season. That ratio was 51.44 per cent at the national level, according to data provided by Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon earlier this year.

Sophat added that the current stock of trees would yield 10,000-20,000 tonnes per each of a year’s two seasons. For reference, the agriculture minister says longan trees yield an average of between seven and 30 tonnes per hectare depending on crop maintenance.

The provincial agriculture chief said only 200 longan farming households in the province – or 10 per cent – are PLAPC members and follow GAP principles.

Cambodian longan typically makes it on the Chinese market via neighbouring countries, where it is first shipped, and then repackaged and sold to China mixed in with local produce.

However, longan is set to be the third Cambodian fruit to be officially exported directly to the Chinese market, after bananas and mangoes. Of note, Chinese authorities only consider a single product per country at a time to import, in a process that requires phytosanitary and other pre-export inspections.

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

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • 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

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Cambodia's poverty cut in half from 2009 to 2019: World Bank report

    A report published by the World Bank on November 28 states that Cambodia’s national poverty rate fell by almost half between 2009 and 2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic recently reversed some of the poverty reduction progress. Cambodia’s poverty rate dropped from 33.8 to 17.8 per cent over the 10