Fruit plan focuses on domestic market
The Commerce Ministry has teamed up with the Agriculture Ministry to adjust a fruit management plan, focusing on the domestic market to offset exports hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
Sansern Samalapa, vice-minister of commerce, said the plan will cover production management; distribution channels; business matching among traders, importers and Thai operators; financial support; and safety standards.
Mr Sansern on Thursday called a meeting with government agencies and companies, including the Transport Ministry, Grab Thailand and Thailand Post, to ask for cooperation on fruit management during harvesting season.
The government will offer leniency to a certain extent in labour movements, particularly for farm workers and fruit pickers; exercise the Price of Goods and Services Act to ensure fair trade competition; and promote contract farming and the linkage between farmers, processors, traders and supermarkets.
For the distribution channel, Thailand Post will be tasked with handling fruit delivery with the state subsidising the delivery fee, while producers will be upgraded and trained to sell more via online platforms and social media.
To boost exports, the Commerce Ministry plans to launch business matching between buyers, importers and Thai operators; online business matching events; fruit caravans to neighbouring countries; and PR initiatives and roadshows in foreign countries.
According to Mr Sansern, the government will also offer to subsidise 3% of the loan interest for 10 months for local fruit collectors and 3% for six months to fruit collectors for exports. In addition, the government wants to offer an additional three baht per kilogramme for expenses in fruit collection to fruit collectors for exports.
Regarding safety standards, the government aims to settle the Mutual Recognition Arrangement on food safety for fruit, particularly between Thailand and China.