Thailand is campaigning to elevate the fruit trade in the kingdom’s east as the tropical fruit hub of Asia.
Boonyarit Kalayanamit, permanent secretary for the Ministry of Commerce, said the campaign is expected to promote fruit produce in the Eastern region to the rest of the nation and the world. The initiative would also stimulate local consumption and demand while reducing reliance on exports.
According to Boonyarit, Thai agriculturalists offer 57 different types of fruits, contributing 45 billion baht in annual exports. 80% of these fruits are durian, longan and mangosteen, shipped to major export partners China and Vietnam, with most of the remaining products sold locally.
The Eastern region is projected to see 1.14 million metric tons of combined volume for durian, mangosteen, rambutan and longan in Chanthaburi, Rayong and Trat. The figure represents an increase of 27% from last year’s 900,000 tons, with the three provinces considered the key fruit producers of the region.
Chanthaburi’s provincial commerce office chief, Chairat Boonsong, meanwhile noted that there are currently Chinese middlemen setting up warehouses to purchase produce in the areas. He said the practice could put sellers at disadvantage if they unite to monopolize the buying price.
The office chief said it was therefore necessary for farmers to have market and trading partner options for trading partners.