Joint bid to manage huge fruit supply

Joint bid to manage huge fruit supply

Effort aims to prevent an oversupply

The Commerce Ministry inks cooperation with 36 agencies in an effort to prevent a slump in fruit prices.
The Commerce Ministry inks cooperation with 36 agencies in an effort to prevent a slump in fruit prices.

The Commerce Ministry is working with 36 state and private agencies to cope with a huge fruit supply which is expected to increase by 23% this year in order to avoid a price slump.

Officials will use 16 measures under a 2021 fruit management plan to cope with the increase in supply as part of the efforts to relieve the impact of the pandemic which has slowed down the world economy, said Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit after signing a memorandum of understanding with the 36 agencies yesterday.

Total fruit production is expected to increase by 23% to 5.4 million tonnes from 4.4 million last year, according to the ministry.

Pineapples will see the highest increase in supply, up 42% to 1.98 million tonnes, followed by durian rising 16% to 1.28 million tonnes, longan going up by 20% to 1.4 million tonnes and rambutans rising by 1% to 270,000 tonnes.

The supply of mangosteen is set to fall by 7% to 315,000 tonnes.

The pineapple volume is a projection made by the Office of Agricultural Economics, but pineapples supplied as law materials to factories are currently scarce due to drought, the Thai Pineapple Industry Association argued.   

The state and private agencies are working together under a 492-million-baht budget, to prevent an oversupply of fruit, which would bring down prices during the peak period of production in May.

The fruit harvesting season lasts from March to December.

The 16 measures are aimed to distribute fruits from farmers to consumers both in Thai and overseas markets as soon as possible.

Among them is a plan to allow migrant labourers in the East of the country to work in the South, helping farmers to collect their fruits there, said Mr Jurin.

Other measures include free fruit loading on board airplanes, with the amount increasing to 25 kilogrammes from 10 kg.

Officials will also support the transportation of 2,000 tonnes of fruits via Thailand Post Co. They will reduce transportation prices for 10 kg of fruits to 30 baht from 95.

The Internal Security Operations Command will help with more human resources to help farmers harvest longan in border provinces in the South.

The Commerce Ministry will support a plan to have cars loaded with fruits directly sell the produce to consumers under a budget of 1,500 baht a car. It wants the cars to distribute 4,000 tonnes of fruits.

The government will also accelerate issuing certifications of Good Agricultural Practices, or GAP, for fruit exports. Officials plan to certify at least 120,000 orchards. Officials will also subsidise fruit exporters at 2.5 baht a kg under a target of 60,000 tonnes.

Do you like the content of this article?