Market Assessment

Son La longan sub-sector analysis, Vietnam, 2008

    Summary of results
    The research team found that directed interventions in the longan sub-sector have the potential to improve the livelihoods of upland households in Son La province. These interventions should focus on improving quality and yield of longan fruit from existing cultivation areas with the ultimate goal of encouraging the use of low cost/high quality processing techniques at the household level.

    Main findings of Son La longan sub-sector analysis:
    - Under the 5 Million Hectare Reforestation Programme the area under longan cultivation in Son La increased from approximately 50 hectares in 1992 up to 12,781 hectares in 2001 and has remained stable at that level since.
    - The majority of Son La's longan trees currently produce low quality fruit
    - The majority of Son La's longan trees produce relatively low yields, with many only bearing fruit once every two seasons.
    - The current price of fresh longan is approximately one third of prices achieved five years ago
    - Son La longans have a higher than average sugar content (18-22%). Increased sugar content reportedly produces a higher quality dried fruit.
    - Up to 90% of Son la longan is processed (although only between 10-15% at the household level)
    - In the past three years some upland farmers have started to replace longan trees with alternative "high value" crops