Longan is among the most important fresh fruits for export from Cambodia. The quality and taste of the fruits being grown in Cambodia is undisputed, but what does it take to get them ready for export and what should producers look out for when growing their fruits, and what should traders pay attention to when trying to find buyers in markets worldwide?
In cooperation with the General Directorate of Agriculture (GDA) of the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Support of Regional Economic Cooperation in Asia (SRECA) project of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), implemented by GIZ, organised a three-day training on Cambodian Good Agricultural Practices (CAM GAP) and plant sanitation and health (phytosanitary) certification procedures for export, from 09 to 12 of December 2019, to answer just those questions.
The training was held at the Pailin Provincial Department of Agriculture. 218 male and female longan producers, traders and representatives of associations coming from the provinces Pailin, Battambang and Banteay Meanchey widened their understanding on production methods and export conditions of longan.
Cambodia’s Good Agricultural Practices (CAM GAP) and CAM GAP certification procedures were discussed. The training also touched on vital export topics, such as the make-up of the longan quarantine pest lists and procedures for pest management and phytosanitary certification. The knowledge gained on regulation and procedures was then put to practical use during a field trip to a local longan farm. Participants role played as CAM-GAP inspectors, to get familiar with the implementation of the procedures. During the result presentation and reflection, participants demonstrated great understanding of the topic by presenting findings of the inspection fully and confidently. At the beginning of the workshop only 0.5% of participants had a comprehensive and 53% somewhat of an understanding of the CAM GAP and export procedures. The post workshop assessments showed that 55% gained a comprehensive understanding, while 23% see there is still room for improvement.
Local authorities, such as the Provincial Governor and the Governor of the Department of Agriculture of Pailin Province, actively supported and presided over the opening and closing of the training. The high number of participants showed that export procedures and certification, including CAM-GAP, attract many longan businesses and associations, who are looking to export their products to gain higher value addition in overseas markets.
A GAP certificate can be a strong tool for producers and traders to export longans to for example Thailand and China. SRECA is looking forward to continuing working with our partners on localised and customised trainings on export standards and certifications and to combine knowledge on procedures with their practical implementation to support Cambodian business and trade associations in their quest for accessing markets in the region and worldwide.