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Will Milli’s mango stunt help Thailand’s farmers?

Tara Abhasakun

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Milli at Coachella, photo by HYPEBAE.

After budding Thai rap star “Milli” ate a bowl of sticky rice and mango onstage in front of a crowd of hundreds of thousands at California’s Coachella festival, Thailand’s mango farmers might rake in some dough.

Despite being the largest exporter of mangoes in the world, Thailand has had problems with mango shipment due to Covid-19. Sayan Bunying, president of the Thai Mango Growers Association, told the Bangkok Post that the export price has been forced down from 50 to 30 baht per kilogram. The price for domestic mango sales shot up from 25 to 12.5-15 baht per kilogram.

Sayan said Milli’s high profile mango-eating, which went viral on social media, is highly appreciated during this tough time for mango farmers. He said he hopes more people overseas will buy Thai mangoes.

“…my appreciation and gratitude go out to anyone and any organisation who advocates for people to eat our mangoes”.

The main country that currently buys Thai mangos is China, which takes in 83.4% of all Thai fruit, according to the vice-president of Krungthai Compass.

The dish that Milli ate, sticky rice with mangoes and sweetened condensed milk, is famous as a signature Thai desert. It is listed on CNN Travel’s “50 World’s Most Perfect Desserts” list. Thailand has hit its summer season, the time of the country’s mango harvest.

 

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A post shared by MILLI (@phuckitol)


The Director of the Cultural Promotion Department, Chai Nakhonchai says that Milli helped promote Thailand’s soft power among international audiences when she ate the mango sticky rice on stage. The director informed Thai media that the dish was on the list of cultural elements that the department plans to propose to UNESCO to be included as Thailand’s intangible cultural heritage.

He also added that the dish has also been included in the ‘Thai Dishcovery’… New Thai Dish for New Gen Project, which invites new-gen chefs to transform the loo and design of various dishes from traditional Thai cuisine.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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    A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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