Thailand unwraps new invention to boost fruit crops
Thailand’s fruit farmers have been handed a simple and eco-friendly way of protecting their crop and boosting profits: recycled paper. The special wrapping to protect ripening fruits from pests is made by Chonburi’s AP Recycle Industrial company with a grant from the Technology and Innovation-Based Enterprise Development Fund (TED Fund).
Charnwit Tridech, TED Fund manager, said the innovative wrapping paper was now being used by farmers to increase the profitability of Nam Dok Mai mangoes.
"The inventor of the wrapping paper is now preparing to use this innovation with mangosteen and other export fruits in order to increase farmers' and exporters' income," he said. "We would like to invite other inventors who have [similar] innovations to contact our fund for advice and funds in order to improve Thailand's agriculture."
Panadda Piyamahapong, AP Recycle Industrial's managing director, said that among Thai export fruits, Nam Dok Mai (“golden barracuda”) mangoes were popular worldwide, in Japan, Europe, New Zealand, the US, China and elsewhere.
"China had imported a lot of golden barracuda mangoes because of their auspicious colour," she said. "With support from TED Fund, the company collaborated with Burapha University to develop mango wrapping paper that stopped natural pests, especially mealybugs."
She said mango farmers in Chachoengsao’s Bang Khla district were wrapping mangoes on the tree with the new invention – paper coated with a natural herb scent and light-blocking bags to prevent mealybugs and maintain the fruit’s golden colour.
"This innovation is helping farmers to cultivate high-quality mangoes without having to worry about natural pests and plant diseases anymore," she added.