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SUNDAY, December 10, 2023

EECO eyes farm products from 3 eastern provinces in bid to attract investors

EECO eyes farm products from 3 eastern provinces in bid to attract investors
SATURDAY, November 20, 2021

To boost farmers’ income and attract investment, the Eastern Economic Corridor Office (EECO) has decided to start promoting five groups of agricultural products grown in the vicinity of eastern provinces Chonburi, Rayong and Chachoengsao.

“Our preliminary survey revealed that farmers in EEC areas still use traditional farming techniques, which utilise limited technology and consume high amounts of resources,” Phojanee Attharojphinyo, EECO’s policy and planning specialist, said on Friday.

“Traditional agriculture is taking up 66 per cent of land in EEC areas, 13 per cent of manpower and 64 per cent of water resource, but generates only 2.6 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product [GDP].”

Phojanee added that the project aims to promote five agricultural product groups including fruits, fishery products, plants for bio-based products, herbal products, and high-value crops (like decorative plants and organic vegetables).

“We will operate under three strategies: Improving product quality using high technology, using modern marketing techniques and innovations to maximise sales revenue, and developing new generation human resources in farms to incorporate modern agricultural practices into traditional farming techniques,” she added.

Phojanee added that EECO estimates that in the next 20 years the population in the EEC area will increase by more than 2 million, while the number of visitors landing at U-Tapao International Airport could reach 60 million people.

“To support the increasing population, EECO is planning an urban development project for areas in a 30km radius of the U-Tapao Airport,” she said. “Dubbed the ‘Smart City Suitable for Living’ project, we aim to establish a new city that is driven by the BCG [bio, circular and green] economy following the model of Singapore and Auckland, which have been ranked first in World Smart City Index in 2020 and 2021, respectively.”

Phojanee added that the smart city will have features such as over 30 per cent of green areas, self-sustainable water resources, public transport system powered by clean energy, as well as enhanced public health and education systems.