Soured by loss in earnings, longan farmers demand compensation
Longan farmers in Chiang Mai showed up at the governor’s office on Tuesday morning to demand compensation for earnings lost due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The farmers, led by the Chiang Mai chapter of the National Farmers Council, submitted a letter addressed to provincial governor Prajon Prachsakul asking for a compensation of 2,000 baht per rai for up to 25 rai per person. This compensation had been provided to farmers last year.
The petition was received by deputy governor Chatchawan Chayabutr.
Longan farmers in seven other northern provinces – Lamphun, Chiang Rai, Phayao, Lampang, Phrae, Nan and Mae Hong Son – also handed in petitions for compensation on Tuesday morning.
More than 1.2 million rai is devoted to growing longan in all eight provinces, producing up to 1.24 million tonnes every year. However, the Covid-19 crisis has pulled down prices, reduced the availability of workforce and destroyed market mechanisms, affecting more than 250,000 farming households.
The farmers also complained that the pandemic has adversely hit the export market cutting their earnings and leaving them with no funds to finance the 2022 crop.
Longans, which normally go for 23 baht per kilo, are now being sold for between 3 and 8 baht per kg.