BANGKOK – Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Mananya Thaiset has ordered the Cooperative Promotion Department to quickly find markets for fruit farmers affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The global COVID-19 outbreak was affecting Thai fruit exports to China that was the biggest fruit trading partner of Thailand in the past three years. Last year Thailand exported 12,251.16 tons of durian, mangosteen and longan worth 572.45 million baht to China but did not receive an order from the trading partner this year, Ms Mananya said.
According to her, Thailand will produce 3.07 million tons of fruits including durian, longan, mangosteen, rambutan and lychee this year. Durian, longan and mangosteen will form 84% of the total yields.
“Without relevant measures, there will be oversupplies and farmers will suffer from losses,” Ms Mananya said.
She ordered the Cooperative Promotion Department to quickly find ways to distribute local fruits. The department will work with 90 farmers’ cooperatives that usually gather fruits in 31 provinces. They have 95,321 farmers as their members. From April to September, the cooperatives are expected to distribute 40,000 tons of durian and 20,000 tons each of mangosteen and longan at reasonable prices.
Ms Mananya would seek a 414.20-million-baht budget from the government to facilitate the operations of the farmers’ cooperatives. There would be campaigns for the consumption of local fruits in major provinces including Nakhon Ratchasima, Udon Thani, KhonKaen, UbonRatchathani, Chiang Mai, Songkhla, Surat Thani and Bangkok, she said.