By THE NATION
“The department will provide a subsidy to farmers at Bt3 per kilogram for domestic distribution under a budget of Bt194.5 million and Bt5 per kilogram for export under a Bt50-million budget, which will help in the transportation, packaging and grading of longans,” he said.
“Furthermore, logan farmers will get a 3 per cent discount on interest when applying for a loan at any state-run financial institute. The loan interest subsidy programme will run for ten months under a budget of 45.5 million,” Wichai said.
“The department will use another Bt50 million to organise fruit festivals nationwide to promote sales until the end of 2020,” he revealed.
The department estimates 900,000 tonnes of total longan output this year, a 5 per cent increase year on year.
“Currently, around 15 per cent of the estimated total longan production is out in the market,” said Wichai. “Among this, 10 per cent are AA grade and 35 per cent A grade, which can be exported to major markets, while the rest are B and C grades and will mostly be distributed in domestic markets.”
The prices per kilogram of longan are: AA grade: Bt27, A grade: Bt20, B grade: Bt16 and C grade: Bt10.
“Longan exports are seeing a decrease due to the Covid-19 crisis as many major buyers are reducing their orders, especially those in China and Indonesia,” Wichai added. “The department therefore aims to export the fruit to nearby countries such as Cambodia and Vietnam, which not only have shorter transport routes but also accept lower B and C grade longans.”