Cambodia scrambles to shield fruit farmers from COVID blow

Strict border controls and sanitary issues crimp longan exports to Thailand.

Harvest season is always a tense time for Cambodian longan farmer Oeum Raksa, but this year the 31-year-old is particularly nervous.

Even in normal circumstances, Raksa has less than three days after picking the tropical tree-growing fruit to sell to wholesalers. These buyers then must quickly move it to processing factories in Thailand to prolong its shelf life.

This year, however, COVID-19 border restrictions and recent contamination issues have brought longan exports to Thailand to a virtual halt, resulting in tons of fruit spoiling, according to local media reports.

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