Dragon Fruit Info
Cambodia wants to breathe fire into dragon fruit sales to China
Fresh on the heels of a deal allowing for the export of mangoes to mainland China, the Kingdom is eying the possibility of capitalising on that country’s insatiable appetite for dragon fruit.
After a dip in 2020, fresh dragon fruit exports to China grew by 77 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021. It was the sixth most popular fruit import last quarter, with a value of $165 million, according to official Chinese figures.
Yaing Siang Koma, founder of the Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture, has already committed to helping grow 1 million dragon fruit trees on 1,000 hectares of land in Sambor Neak, Preah Vihear province, to supply the international market. Koma believes that the project will eventually create 3,000 to 10,000 jobs locally.
A market shortage coupled with low crop prices has hounded Cambodian market producers this year. In February, the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Agriculture said prices of the fruit had dropped substantially since the beginning of the harvest season.
Prices for the fruit are said to have dropped by $0.10 to $2.10 per kilogramme in China, while wholesale prices in Cambodia have plunged by 60 percent during the pandemic, falling from a peak price in 2019 of $0.20 to about $0.08.
The Kingdom boasts more than 124,000 hectares of mango plantations, with Thailand being the chief export market because of the appetite for highly desirable Cambodian green mangoes.