Farmers ask that govt build cold storage to cushion fruit surplus

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BANGKOK, 21 May 2013  – Thai farmers are requesting that the government build cold storage to preserve fruits, particularly rambutan which is facing an oversupply problem. 

After meeting with fruit farmers and traders, Industry Minister Prasert Boonchaisuk said the farmers are worried about an oversupply of rambutan as the produce comes out at the same time in each season and the fruits are perishable goods. The farmers therefore asked the government to provide a site that can keep these fruits for a longer period of time.

The minister said investment in building a large cold storage to accommodate about 5,000 tons of fruits could cost up to 500 million baht. The storage is likely to be built in the eastern province of Chanthaburi to absorb produces from that fruit-growing region.

Mr. Prasert disclosed that at the meeting, rambutan farmers also requested a guaranteed price of between 15 and 18 baht per kilogram this year.

The minister said that buyers had confirmed their willingness to buy the fruits at the requested price as long as the products are in good quality.