Banglamung District is setting up markets and pushing hotels and government agencies to buy more pineapples after Pattaya-area growers flooded the market and crashed prices.
All of Thailand currently is suffering from an oversupply of the signature fruit, a combination of poor planning by farmers and unseasonable rains that caused crops to ripen early.
The glut has resulted in pineapple prices cratering, from the normal 4-5 baht per kilogram to as little as 2 baht.
At a June 1 meeting with growers in Pong, Khao Maikaew and Huay Yai, Banglamung District Chief vowed to put the full weight of the local government into supporting the farmers, who had filled 12,000 rai with fruit they now can’t sell for a profit. The total local crop is estimated at 30,000 tons.
He said the district will act as a broker for the advocates, pushing hotels, tourist attractions and government offices to purchase more pineapples. It also will contract gas stations to ask permission for farmers to set up pineapple stands by the pumps to move their product.
Banglamung also is organizing farmer’s markets for the pineapple growers, with Naris opening a market in front of the district office on June 4 and at Chaimongkol Temple on June 5.
Both markets drew good crowds, even though farmers were selling their pineapples at up to 20 baht above current market rates.
The national government also has gotten into the act, with the Cooperative Promotion Department asking the Livestock Development and local dairy cooperatives to use pineapples in animal feed. Other measures include establishing a pineapple distribution center in Rayong province and launching a public relations campaign with Siam Makro PLC to promote pineapple consumption.