Surat Thani’s Rambutan Industry Seeks Preservation and Market Expansion

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Warin Petkosachat, chairman of Ban Na San Fruit Group Perm Poonsup Subdistrict in Ban Na San District, Surat Thani Province, has expressed concern over the declining area of rambutan plantations in recent years. In 2012, the rambutan cultivation area in Ban Na San District was 1.8 thousand rai. However, due to unfavorable prices, farmers have shifted their focus to planting durian. The decreasing demand for rambutans has led to losses for villagers, especially considering the rising costs of production, particularly fertilizers.

Mr. Petkosachat emphasized the importance of preserving the rambutan industry, fearing the disappearance of the renowned “Delicious Rambutan” slogan. To combat this, he urged the Thai people to support the consumption of rambutans. Despite the challenges faced, this year’s rambutan output is expected to be approximately 30 percent higher than last year, which is promising news for farmers in terms of asking price.

Regarding distribution, neighboring countries such as Singapore and China have become important customers for rambutan exports. The fruit has received a positive response from these markets, providing additional opportunities for Thai farmers.

Ms. Kanyarat Thep Luan, manager of the Surat Thani Agricultural Cooperative, leads a team of professional agricultural sellers who work closely with cooperative members. This year, they have visited rambutan plots belonging to cooperative members in Ban Na San District, which include both golden rambutans and school rambutans. The output for this year is expected to surpass last year’s yield.

The rambutans from Ban Na San District in Surat Thani Province have gained popularity due to their round shape, crispy texture, delightful sweetness, and dryness. The fruit’s distinctive taste has attracted considerable attention. The variety known as “Ngo school” originated from a school and was later presented to King Bhumibol Adulyadej during his visit to Surat Thani Province in 2512 (1969). The King recognized the uniqueness of the rambutan and named it the “school rambutan.”

The Surat Thani Agricultural Cooperative Society is actively promoting rambutan consumption through its member network. Cooperative members exchange products and collaborate as partners, ensuring a steady supply of rambutan to various regions, including Chiang Mai in the north, the northeastern region, and the central region, according to the number of reservations received. Agricultural Cooperatives, such as Kaset Wisai Co., Ltd. in Roi Et Province, have placed orders and are ready to receive their deliveries starting from June 19.

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