Agriculture steps up measures in longan distribution


BANGKOK, 1 August 2014 – The Ministry of Agriculture and Agriculture Cooperatives has launched measures to help northern longan farmers, distribute their products through various channels.

The permanent secretary, Chavalit Chukajorn said on Wednesday that in 2014 farmers are able to produce more than 500,000 tons of longans, a 17% increase from last year. Large amount of the fruit will be brought to the local market in mid August and the situation will cause a huge slump in prices. Currently, top grade longans are able to fetch 40 baht a kilogram, but if hundreds of thousands of the fruit hit the market, the prices will drop to just 28-29 baht a kilogram.

Therefore, the ministry has stepped in to help prevent losses by distributing longans to consumers nationwide as soon as possible. On Wednesday, Chavalit chaired the MOU signing ceremony between six longan producer cooperatives in upper northern Thailand and 66 buyers cooperatives nationwide. Under the deal, those 66 cooperatives will be the selling channels for longan producers.

Moreover, the ministry has successfully negotiated with Tesco Lotus to double its order of longan to 500 tons. The Mall group and many retailers have also expressed their interest in buying more longans, said Mr Chavalit. The ministry expressed its hope that more than 5,000 tons of longans would quickly reach consumers during the longan season.