Tonnes of mangosteen flown to North in fruit swap programme

Tonnes of mangosteen flown to North in fruit swap programme

Soldiers load boxes of mangosteen onto an air force plane, which flew the fruit from Wing 7 in Surat Thani to Chiang Mai on Monday. (Photo: Supapong Chaolan)
Soldiers load boxes of mangosteen onto an air force plane, which flew the fruit from Wing 7 in Surat Thani to Chiang Mai on Monday. (Photo: Supapong Chaolan)

SURAT THANI: The air force flew two tonnes of mangosteen from this southern province to Chiang Mai in the North on Monday, and the transport plane was to return with two tonnes of longan.

The flights are part of a swap programme to shore up fruit prices.

The mangosteen will be sold in the North and the longan in the South.

The fruit swap is a collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and the air force.

Surat Thani governor Wichawut Jinto, Wing 7 commander Capt Puthapong Polcheewin and Suriyan Boonyanukul, chief of the provincial office of agriculture and cooperatives, were at the Wing 7 base in Phun Phin district to witness the launch of the programme.

Mr Wichawut said this year Surat Thani had produced about 7,000 tonnes of mangosteen, and the fruit was in over-supply locally. Coupled with the sluggish economy caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the mangosteen price was at an all-time low.

It was necessary to help fruit growers by providing them with more channels to sell their produce, he said.

Mr Wichawut said the programme would be expanded to cover a swap of rambutan and rice between the South and the Northeast. This year's harvest of rambutan in Surat Thani, much of it the popular ngo rong rian variety, was expected to be around 38,000 tonnes.

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