By THE NATION
Alongkorn announced the move after presiding over a Fruit Board meeting on measures to assist the farmers. The Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) will propose a subsidy of Bt2,000 per rai on up to 25 rai per longan farmer.
The scheme will subside Thailand’s 196,000 longan farming households, who cultivate a total area of 871,716 rai. Almost two-thirds (121,475 households) have plots of less than 5 rai, while only 3 per cent (7,367 households) have plots over 25 rai.
The price of longan has dropped after a second wave of Covid-19 hit China. Volume of purchases by dried-longan factories is down, while exporters are suffering lower demand from China.
Chalermchai Srion, minister of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, has responded by ordering the Fruit Board to release 30 per cent of longan crops onto the market via Commerce Ministry, Thai Post, and e-commerce channels.
The DAE is also running a programme that matches longan farmers with domestic purchasers.