Exports of longan fruits from Pailin saw a 60 per cent increase this year compared to the same period last year due to rising demand from China, according to a representative from the Pailin Longan Farmers’ Community.
From January to May this year, more than 1,100 tonnes of longan were exported to China, up 63 per cent from the 676 tonnes last year, according to Sreng Sreang, deputy director of the Pailin Longan Farmers’ Community.
“There has been increasing demand for Pailin longan in the Chinese market, Chinese buyers tell me. They buy longan from us and do the packaging in Thailand before sending them to China,” he said.
Pailin longan is harvested from December to May. One kilogram of longan costs around 5,000 riel, or $1.25, almost a two-fold increase from three years ago when the price stood at $0.70.
The higher price is driving more farmers to expand their cultivation area, while local investors have been putting more money into longan farming, said Sreang.
“Our members have increased from 102 families in 2012 to 181 families by 2014,” Sreang said.
Land under longan cultivation has increased from 333 hectares in 2012 to 746 hectares today, with total exports slated to grow to 1,500 tonnes this year, he added.
Longan is a sweet tropical fruit and a popular treat among Cambodians and is also commonly used as an offering at religious ceremonies.