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Laos Strives To Secure China Market Access for Durians

May 15, 2023

According to a recent report in the Vientiane Times, Kim Nguyen Agricultural Development Import-Export Company, an agricultural firm based in the southern Laotian city of Paksong, intends to expand its durian plantations to over 200 hectares to meet growing demand from the domestic market. In addition, the company is making preparations to export durians to China, for which it is hoped that market access will be granted by 2025.

The owner of the company said they had already conducted pilot plantings and currently have 300 durian trees in a 15-hectare orchard. Each durian tree produces approximately 200–300 kilograms of fruit per year, with last year’s total production standing at 40 metric tons, which fell significantly short of demand. To address this, the company plans to plant 30,000 durian trees, with a particular focus on popular varieties preferred by consumers, such as Monthong (also known as “golden pillow”).

Durian cultivation in Laos has a relatively short history of around 10 years and is primarily concentrated in the southern highland regions. The provinces of Champasak, Salavan and Attapeu boast fertile soil and ample arable land, making them highly suitable for durian production. Another key advantage for developing the Laotian durian industry is the recently completed China–Laos railway, which has greatly reduced cargo transportation costs between the two countries and is also expected to help attract more investment into the Laotian agricultural sector.

In recent years, many Chinese companies have elected to establish durian orchards in Laos. In February 2022, for example, Jiarun Agriculture Development Co. Ltd. (嘉润农业发展有限公司) signed an agreement with the Laotian government to plant 40,000 mu (2,667 hectares) of durians and 30,000 mu (2,000 hectares) of other high-value tropical fruits.

To date, Laos has only secured China market access for its bananas, watermelons, passion fruit and citrus fruits (mandarins, pomelos and lemons). However, the Laotian Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is reportedly in talks with the General Administration of Customs of China to allow Laotian durians, longans, dragon fruit and jackfruit to enter China.

The Laotian government reportedly aims to export nine types of agricultural products to China over the next several years, including 100,000 metric tons of peanuts, 100,000 metric tons of cassavas, 100,000 metric tons of frozen and dried beef, 200,000 metric tons of cashews, 50,000 metric tons of durians, 100,000 metric tons of bananas, 100,000 metric tons of mangos, 200,000 metric tons of soybeans and 500,000 metric tons of sugar. It is projected that these exports will generate a total revenue of $1.5 billion.

Image: Pixabay

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

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