ALRO to push farmers to grow herbs with export potential in the EEC
The Agricultural Land Reform Office (ALRO) has urged Thai farmers to grow hemp, cannabis and green chiretta (fah talai jone) using high technology to boost their incomes. The study of kratom would also be conducted with the aim of achieving sales of THB8 billion from exporting these herbs.
Captain Thamanat Prompow, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding by the ARLO and the Eastern Economic Corridor Office (EEC) on cooperation in the development of integrated herbs in the EEC on Tuesday.
“The herbal market tends to expand annually as herbs have the potential to promote people’s health. I believe that Thai herbs will shift to exports in the near future,” said Thamanat.
The agreement aims to increase incomes of farmers in the ALRO areas by swapping plantation of traditional crops with herbal plants, such as hemp, cannabis and green chiretta, that have high sales potential. The plans are to establish a suitable business model that meets the consumer needs, in order to profit domestically and internationally.
More than THB100 billion worth of Thai herbs were exported in 2020, according to Department of Agriculture data.
A study on kratom will also be conducted, and the farmers will be urged to grow kratom on ALRO lands following the legalisation of the plant on Tuesday.
ALRO secretary-general Vinaroj Supsongsuk said that the EEC aimed to ensure a stable income for farmers by elevating Thai herbs to world standard with innovative technology, developing from the plantation procedure up to the marketing strategy. The development is to be effective immediately and concretely, for a period of two years under the terms of the agreement.
The essence of the cooperation in the development of integrated herbs are as follows:
- Support farmers to plant the herbs on ALRO lands;
- Provide information on ALRO laws to farmers for the production and development of herbal products in the EEC area;
- Jointly consider and select farmers, farmer groups, community enterprise groups and operation areas to carry out the development of the herbal plants;
- Build a research network and extend Thai herbs to meet the market demands.