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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 665: II International Symposium on Lychee, Longan, Rambutan and other Sapindaceae Plants

LYCHEE AND LONGAN PRODUCTION IN THAILAND

Authors:   P. Anupunt, N. Sukhvibul
Keywords:   lowland cultivar, upland cultivar, alternate bearing, sunburn, fruit cracking, longan stink bug
Abstract:
In Thailand, there are two groups of lychee cultivars, the lowland and upland lychee. The lowland cultivars require moderately low temperatures and a period of drought for flowering. The upland cultivars require lower temperatures for flowering and are grown in the northern region. ‘Khom’ is an important cultivar of lowland group while the major cultivar of upland group is ‘Hong Huai’. In 2001, the total planting area of bearing was approximately 11,848 ha with a total production of 40,137 MT. Thailand exported the fresh and canned lychee with 17,765 MT worth US$ 14.26 million to Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and USA. Harvesting starts from late March in the central region to mid May in the northern region. The main constraints for lychee production include a pronounced alternate bearing behavior, sunburn and fruit cracking. The lychee fruit borer (Conopomorhpa sinensis), longan stink bug (Tessaratoma javanica) and fruit rot (Peronophthora litchii) are major pests and diseases of lychee.
Longan is one of the most important subtropical fruits in Thailand, which is currently the biggest producer in the world. The longan industry is based on one major cultivar, ‘Do’ which is the most consistent bearer. Others commercially important cultivars are ‘Haeo’, ‘Biao Khiao’ and ‘Chomphu’. In 2001, the total planting area of bearing longan was 57,261 ha with the total production of 186,800 MT, 70% of which was exported as fresh, dried and canned longan, while 30% were consumed domestically as fresh fruits. Of this amount 138,709 MT worth US$ 91 million were exported to Hong Kong, China and the USA. Flowering commences in late December to late February and harvesting is from late June to late August. At present, soil drenching of chlorate is commonly used to produce off-season longan. A serious disease in longan is the rosette shoot or witches’ broom. Numerous pests are found on longan; however an important pest is the longan stink bug. Research on post-harvest technology, processing and pest control need to be carried out.
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