By PETCHANET PRATRUANGKRAI
Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn said the lower output of fruits this year had increased the price of main varieties in the South, while farmers are not faced with oversupplies.
At the same time, the ministry has encouraged modern traders to distribute locally grown fruits at their outlets nationwide. It has also coordinated with many government agencies and state-owned enterprises such as the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, the Provincial Electricity Authority and the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly to sell fruit at their places of business.
The ministry has also cooperated with 8,664 Biz Clubs in all 77 provinces to distribute fruit through the Farm Outlet markets. It has also helped farmers export fruit overseas to high-demand markets such as China.
The price of durian in the South is Bt93-Bt95 per kilogram, mangosteen Bt110-Bt115, rambutan Bt17, and langsat Bt14.
Normally, durian output in the South is a month or two behind the Eastern region. The major output is harvested in July and August. This year, about 226,840 tonnes of durian is expected to be cultivated in the South, while demand will be about 395,500 tonnes. About 65 per cent will go to China, 24 per cent to Bangkok, and the rest to other provinces in Thailand.
Mangosteen production is expected to come in at 104,580 tonnes, lower than demand, which is estimated at nearly 123,000 tonnes this year. About 45 per cent of the output will be for export, 32 per cent for markets in Bangkok and nearby provinces, 0.37 per cent for modern retailers, and 0.83 per cent for processing.