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The commercial longan (Dimocarpus longan Lour) is an economically important crop in a number of countries of the Asia-Pacific Region. Its role in the rural economy has been increasing, especially with respect to employment and income generation. However, despite its importance, there is a paucity of published information on longan and where available, the publications are outdated.

This document provides a fair coverage of available information on longan, covering a wide range of specific topics. It also highlights several production constraints and future prospects for its expansion as a commercial crop.

In many regions where both lychee and longan are grown, more attention has been given to lychee production and longan has often taken a backseat. However, there are exceptions, particularly in Thailand, where longan's contribution towards the local economy far exceeds that of lychee. Longan is less demanding and more predictable than lychee in its environmental requirements. Moreover, production of off-season longan is now a reality. The crop is currently gaining more and more acceptance in the Region, sometimes in preference to lychee. Consumption of longan is expected to increase further when more people outside Asia develop a taste for this fruit.

I do hope that this publication will contribute to the future development of the crop. It can be a useful reference source for students, researchers, extension officers, growers and entrepreneurs who are interested in this crop. I recommend this book to all those who have an interest in longan, and I am confident that it will prove valuable as a source of information to all users.

R.B. Singh
Assistant Director-General
and FAO Regional Representative
for Asia and the Pacific

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