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Cambodian Longans Set for China Access Amid Export Capacity Challenges

April 02, 2022

Fresh Cambodian longans are nearing final market access for import into China, but actual export volumes could be hampered in the short term by a lack of export capacity and low participation by growers and packers in necessary orchard and packing house registration procedures, according to a recent report in the Phnom Penh Post.

Market access for Cambodian longans has been expected for some time. Chinese phytosanitary officials released a list of pests of concern in late 2021, and phytosanitary protocols came into effect in March of this year. Orchards and packing houses must now register with Chinese regulators to be eligible to send longans to China. Final market access will come when the General Administration of Customs of China releases its lists of registered orchards and packing houses along with an updated version of its list of permissible fresh fruit imports.

Cambodian longan growers and packers have apparently been slow to pursue registration of their orchards and facilities. The Phnom Penh Post report cited the director of the Agriculture Department of Pailin province, one of Cambodia’s three key longan-growing provinces, as saying that most of the growers who attended a 2021 training session had not yet applied for registration. The Agriculture Department director of another key growing region, Battambang province, said that “many” longan growers there had registered, but a specific number was not mentioned.

Some factors that may be holding back growers and packers from registering include low adherence to good agricultural practice standards, a lack of infrastructure such as irrigation systems to ensure an export-quality product, apprehension about the potential risk for delays or destroyed shipments stemming from China’s COVID-19 prevention policies, and a desire to take a “wait-and-see” approach to exporting to China. Officials said that they were working with producers to upgrade systems and raise capacity in order to better tap Chinese market demand.

Most of Cambodia’s approximately 14,000 hectares of longan orchards are in the provinces of Battambang, Pailin and Banteay Meanchey. Regardless of whether they are grown in Pailin province or the aforementioned nearby provinces, Cambodian longans are often referred to as Pailin longans, which is a designation of origin rather than a variety name.

Longans will be the third Cambodian fresh fruit product approved for export to China through normal trade channels after bananas and mangos, although they have previously reached China through re-exportation from Thailand.

Image: Pixabay

This article was translated from Chinese. Read the original article.

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