Bringing durians back to life

Floods in 2011 killed almost all the durian trees in Nonthaburi. Major efforts to replant these trees are underway.


In photo above durian fruit is cut open revealing the strong smelling meat inside (Source: Wikipedia).

Click button to listen to Durian Revival in Nonthaburi to download

Economics

Fruits of their labour

Preservationists are working to revive durian orchards in Nonthaburi after last year's floods
31/07/2012
Walailak Keeratipipatpong

A total of 25,000 durian saplings that escaped last year's floods will return to orchards in Nonthaburi province by next month for replanting.

The reunion is sponsored by Bring Home Durian Non, a project initiated by the Agriculture Ministry and Nonthaburi province to preserve and quickly restore the country's most prestigious fruit.

The 2011 inundation nearly killed all durian trees in Nonthaburi province, a place known for growing the finest durians in Thailand.

Out of a total of 2,941 rai of orchards, just 43 rai survived the disaster, prompting local growers and authorities to rescue 16 indigenous varieties from flood-hit lands in Bang Yai, Bang Kruai and Muang districts and keep them at the Chanthaburi Horticultural Research Centre to prevent the extinction of the fruit.

The strains include Kob Ta Thao, Kob Kan Luang, Kradoom Kiew, Thong Yoi Chat and Kob Ta Mei.

The centre in Chanthaburi province is also home to the Plant Genetic Conservation Project under an initiative of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, preserving some 500 varieties of durian.

Jirakorn Kosaisawe, director-general of the Agriculture Department, said the first batch of 7,842 saplings was delivered in June for replanting

The remaining 17,000 will be sent to growers by next month.

After securing varieties and developing the saplings, 60 durian growers from Nonthaburi visited the centre and learned advanced farming and post-harvest management.

Some of the saplings were planted at demonstration farms designed as learning centres for the estimated 900 durian growers of Nonthaburi, said Mr Jirakorn.

Fertile soil with ample fertiliser along the Chao Phraya River has made fruit grown there taste better, but low supplies have made durians from the area pricey.

The supply of durians in the province has been dwindling significantly over the past decade because of urbanisation.

Several orchards in districts such as Pak Kret, Bang Kruai and Bang Yai were replaced with housing estates.

Declining supply after last year's floods was another factor pushing the price of premium Kan Yao durians as high as 50,000 baht for 3-4 units this year, far higher than the previous season's 10,000 baht for three units.

Adisorn Chimnoi, a member of the Nonthaburi Durian Preservation Club, said as a result of the flooding, there were only 200 durians from the province this year, of which 30 were Kan Yao.

Kan Yao has a sweet, dry and delicate meat with less odour than other varieties.

The other types of durian in Nonthaburi are sold for 200-250 baht a kilogramme, which is still higher than those from Chanthaburi and Rayong, where Mon Thong is a popular variety.

Mr Adisorn said the club has joined the five-year plan of the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly's Durian Nonthaburi Preservation and Recovery Project, which has given out 8,000 durian saplings to growers.

During the floods, the club rescued saplings and developed them in Chumphon province. Mr Adisorn estimates the preservation projects will result in greater production of durians in the province in the next seven years.

The Office of Agricultural Economics said despite declining output from Nonthaburi, Thailand's production of durian totalled 580,000 tonnes last year, of which 202,000 tonnes was consumed locally.

Last year, the country exported 271,498 tonnes of fresh durians worth 4.6 billion baht. China is the biggest market, accounting for 90% of total shipments.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Economics, Fruits of their labour, Preservationists are working to revive durian orchards in Nonthaburi after last year's floods
31/07/2012, Walailak Keeratipipatpong, link


Durian Vocabulary

durian -
big round fruit with spikes on outside known for its strong smell (See Wikipedia)

orchards - farms for growing fruit  สวนผลไม้
durian orchards

finest - the best, the highest quality
finest durians

saplings - young trees ต้นอ่อน
durian sapling

revive - bring back to life again, health, existence, or use; get started once again after stopping ฟื้นชีพ ทำให้ฟื้นชีพ ชุบชีวิต 
revive durian orchards

fruits of their labour - the good things you get from your hard work (salary from job, income from business, etc)
revealing - showing something that is hidden

preservationists are working to revive durian orchards in Nonthaburi after last year's floods

A total of 25,000 durian saplings that escaped last year's floods will return to orchards in Nonthaburi province by next month for replanting. Durian saplings stand ready to be replanted in Nonthaburi province.

reunion - a situation in which people meet each other again after a period of time when they have been separated การพบกันอีกครั้ง
initiated - created; started ริเริ่มโดย

preserve - to take care of something to prevent it from being harmed or destroyed สงวน, อนุรักษ์ ทำให้คงอยู่
restore
- to cause a particular situation to exist again, especially a good one ฟื้นฟูสภาพ

prestigious - famous, admired and respected by people ที่มีชื่อเสียง ที่ได้รับความนับถือ
the country's most prestigious fruit.

The reunion is sponsored by Bring Home Durian Non, a project initiated by the Agriculture Ministry and Nonthaburi province to preserve and quickly restore the country's most prestigious fruit.

inundation - flooding น้ำท่วม

The 2011 inundation nearly killed all durian trees in Nonthaburi province, a place known for growing the finest durians in Thailand.

disaster - something very bad that happens and causes a lot of damage or kills a lot of people ความหายนะ ภัยพิบัติ
survived - continued to live or exist รอดมาได้
survived the disaster

local - in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about ท้องถิ่น
local growers

prompting - causing
prompting local growers to ... - causing local growers to do ... (something)

authorities - government officials; the police or people in official organisations who have the legal power to make people obey laws or rules เจ้าหน้าที่ (ตำรวจ หรือผู้มีอำนาจ)

rescue - to save someone from a dangerous situation ช่วยชีวิต

indigenous - naturally existing in a place or country rather than arriving from another place เกี่ยวกับชนพื้นเมือง
indigenous varieties - the types that exist naturally in an area
 
horticulture (noun) - the science and activity of growing garden plants (See Wikipedia)
horticultural (adjective)

extinction - death of all living members of a species of animal or plant การสูญพันธุ์

Out of a total of 2,941 rai of orchards, just 43 rai survived the disaster, prompting local growers and authorities to rescue 16 indigenous varieties from flood-hit lands in Bang Yai, Bang Kruai and Muang districts and keep them at the Chanthaburi Horticultural Research Centre to prevent the extinction of the fruit.

strains - different kinds or varieties of living things (plants, bacteria, animals)
initiative - a new plan for dealing with a problem or achieving some goal ความคิดริเริ่ม
batch - a group of things considered similar in type พวก, ชุด, กลุ่ม

The strains include Kob Ta Thao, Kob Kan Luang, Kradoom Kiew, Thong Yoi Chat and Kob Ta Mei. The centre in Chanthaburi province is also home to the Plant Genetic Conservation Project under an initiative of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, preserving some 500 varieties of durian. Jirakorn Kosaisawe, director-general of the Agriculture Department, said the first batch of 7,842 saplings was delivered in June for replanting  The remaining 17,000 will be sent to growers by next month.

securing - taking steps to protect from harm

harvest - gathering fully grown crops from the field เก็บเกี่ยว การเก็บเกี่ยวผลผลิต
post-harvest -
after the harvest, after the ripe crops are collected from the fields

demonstration
- showing something and explaining how it works; showing how something is done การสาธิต
demonstration farms - special farms that do things the right way or best way (to show other people how to do it)

After securing varieties and developing the saplings, 60 durian growers from Nonthaburi visited the centre and learned advanced farming and post-harvest management. Some of the saplings were planted at demonstration farms designed as learning centres for the estimated 900 durian growers of Nonthaburi, said Mr Jirakorn.

soil - dirt or earth (near the top, near the ground)
fertile soil - soil that is good for growing plants in

fertiliser
- food for plants, chemicals to make plants grow faster; chemicals or natural materials such as cow manure (waste) put on plants to make them grow more successfully (See Wikipedia) ปุ๋ย

ample - enough 
ample fertiliser

pricey
- expensive, costs a lot of money

Fertile soil with ample fertiliser along the Chao Phraya River has made fruit grown there taste better, but low supplies have made durians from the area pricey.

dwindling - decreasing
significantly - in an important way อย่างสำคัญ
supply dwindling significantly - there is a large decrease in the number being sold (available to be bought) 

decade
- a period of ten years ทศวรรษ, ระยะเวลา 10 ปี
the past decade

urban
- related to cities
urbanization - when cities grow in size (become larger, spread over larger area) (See Wikipedia)
the past decade of urbanization

housing estates -
many homes built in the same area

The supply of durians in the province has been dwindling significantly over the past decade because of urbanisation.  Several orchards in districts such as Pak Kret, Bang Kruai and Bang Yai were replaced with housing estates.

factor - a fact or situation which influences the result of something ปัจจัย
factor pushing up the price - something that is pushing up the price

premium - special features or service that you pay extra for
premium durians - expensive high quality durians

delicate

odour - a smell, often one that is unpleasant กลิ่น

Declining supply after last year's floods was another factor pushing the price of premium Kan Yao durians as high as 50,000 baht for 3-4 units this year, far higher than the previous season's 10,000 baht for three units. Adisorn Chimnoi, a member of the Nonthaburi Durian Preservation Club, said as a result of the flooding, there were only 200 durians from the province this year, of which 30 were Kan Yao. Kan Yao has a sweet, dry and delicate meat with less odour than other varieties.

variety - many different types of things or people ความหลากหลาย
popular variety - one kind that many people like

The other types of durian in Nonthaburi are sold for 200-250 baht a kilogramme, which is still higher than those from Chanthaburi and Rayong, where Mon Thong is a popular variety. Mr Adisorn said the club has joined the five-year plan of the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly's Durian Nonthaburi Preservation and Recovery Project, which has given out 8,000 durian saplings to growers.

rescued - helped a person when they were in trouble (prevented injury or death; saved their life)
estimates - guesses of what the size, value, amount, cost, etc. of something might be การประมาณค่า

preservation - keeping something as it is, especially in order to prevent it from being damaged or destroyed การสงวน
preservation projects

During the floods, the club rescued saplings and developed them in Chumphon province. Mr Adisorn estimates the preservation projects will result in greater production of durians in the province in the next seven years. The Office of Agricultural Economics said despite declining output from Nonthaburi, Thailand's production of durian totalled 580,000 tonnes last year, of which 202,000 tonnes was consumed locally. Last year, the country exported 271,498 tonnes of fresh durians worth 4.6 billion baht. China is the biggest market, accounting for 90% of total shipments.

About the author

columnist
Writer: Jon Fernquest
Position: Online Writer