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Gold rush in Thailand’s ‘fruit basket’ as farmers switch to durian

Dec 04. 2020
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By THE NATION

A survey of farmers in Thailand’s eastern fruit-growing areas shows that many plan on switching to durian next year, as prices for the crop surge thanks to domestic and overseas demand.
In 2021, Chanthaburi, Rayong and Trat will produce an estimated 1.6 million tonnes of four major fruit crops ¬– durian, mangosteen, rambutan and langsat – according to the Regional Office of Agricultural Economics 6 survey. The 2021 harvest is expected to be 7.11 per cent larger than this year.
The biggest increase in volume will be durian (11.42 per cent), followed by mangosteen (4.05 per cent) and langsat (0.52 per cent). The rambutan harvest is forecast to fall by 0.34 per cent next year.
The office explained that the price of durian has been relatively high for the past six or seven years, making the fruit popular among local growers. Thai durian has been a big hit with Chinese consumers in recent years, driving up its value.
Meanwhile, the price of rambutan has dropped and the cost of harvesting the fruit is relatively high. Some growers have decided to uproot their rambutan trees and switch to other crops.
The four fruits are mainly harvested in May and June.

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