Ministry of Science sets up information system to up longan growing productivity

Ministry of Science is setting up an information system, to collect data on Thailand’s longan production, to be used to increase productivity of growers. Longan is a sub-tropical fruit native to Asia is sweet, crisp and has a unique juice flavor. Thai government is attempting to diversify into new markets, and longan have reached even Europe in recent years, with French food stores in Paris, carrying the fruit. In fact, some Paris food store, advertise that it has the best longan from Thailand. Currently, apart from diversifying markets, Thailand is pushing “Organically Grown” Logan  All major ethnic Asian market offer Tongans  usually displaying them with tropical and/or exotic fruits i.e., rambutan and lychee. Longan has the advantages of a longer shelf life than both, but is less known and its brown color is less appealing. About 85,000 hectare (ha.) of land in the Upper North of Thailand is covered by longan plantations. Major longan growing provinces include Lamphun, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Nan, Phra Yao, Lampang, Phrae and Chanthaburi with 90% of total longan being grown in the neighboring Chiang Mai and Lamphun provinces. The production area has shown a steady growth over the past 10 years with annual production output reaching 650,000 to 900,000 tons, currently depending on many factors. In 2003, the revenue generated by longan was approximately 6,000 -8,000 million Baht, and it contributed 1.5% of Thailand’s total agricultural value. The longan industry provides employment to estimated 230,000 people. There are approximately 100,000 farmers growing longan, 80% of which are small privately owned farms of up to 1.25 ha. Longan is considered to be one of the top Northern Thailand export revenue earners. About 32% of the total output is exported oversea, mainly to China, Hong-Kong and Indonesia, but the Thai government is attempting to diversify into new markets. According to the Department of Customs, longan exports have grown approximately 16% annually in terms of volume and 12% in terms of value for the past 10 years (Source: Twitter).

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