By PETCHANET PRATRUANGKRAI
The ministry is scheduled to meet with the Agriculture Ministry on March 2 to come up with measures to absorb fruit supplies from the market.
Duangkamol Jiambutr, spokesperson for the ministry, said it would work closely with the Agriculture Ministry to help fruit farmers solve problems due to oversupply.
The seasonal fruit, comprising mangosteen, rambutan, durian, longan, langsat and mango, are from the Eastern, Northern and Southern regions.
The harvest seasons for these fruit start early next month. Fruit in the Eastern region will be harvested first, followed by the South, and then the North, whose season lasts through August.
The Commerce Ministry will also help find markets for pineapples and bananas, which can be cultivated year-around.
It will promote Thai fruit to many markets, especially in Asean, China, Japan, India and the Middle East, and tourist destinations like the Maldives, because those markets have high purchasing power.
Duangkamol said the ministry planned to set up many trade missions to promote Thai fruit and other products in targeted markets, while joining forces with modern traders overseas to set up Thai-fruit pavilions at supermarkets and department stores in China, Japan, Cambodia, the US and elsewhere. The ministry will also launch trade missions to sell fruit in neighbouring countries.
The Maldives is of particular interest, since it has many foreign tourists and relies almost 100 per cent on imports. Thai fruit are highly favoured by travellers who know they are not only delicious, but also rich in nutrition.Domestically, the ministry will seek the cooperation of modern traders, community markets, border traders, and farm outlets to help sell fruit during the harvest season.
Farmers will also be encouraged to add value by processing their crops into various products, such as dried fruit. To ensure they can market their produce in foreign countries, the ministry has warned fruit farmers and exporters to be aware of rising sanitary requirements and product standards.