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Krabi man grows cash crop in backyard

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KRABI: The growing nationwide demand for jasmine has led one man to set up his own backyard cottage industry.

Vichan Tongsanay, 40, who works as a deckhand at the Krabi Marine Office, said he earns around 300 baht per day by selling the flowering plant.

“I’ve been growing jasmine in the heart of my village for 5-6 months,” Mr Vichan said. “I’m then able to sell it at a market about a kilometer away.”

Mr Vichan began growing jasmine as a hobby during a holiday, in a half rai vacant plot owned by a relative.

He bought 200 young jasmine plants for about 2,000 baht. “After studying books, looking at online forums and discussing with friends, I started growing them.”

Mr Vichan said jasmine is a particularly finicky plant to grow. He recommends keeping the bushes around a meter away from each other and fertilizing the soil regularly in order to ensure that the plants flower abundantly. He adds that his gardening venture took some time to get into, but he expects to keep the plants for approximately 10 years.

“I feel comfortable doing this in my spare time. The demand for jasmine in Krabi is high right now and there’s a lack of land to plant it in. Most jasmine in Krabi is grown in other provinces,” Mr Vichan said.

Mr Vichan is looking forward to an increase in sales in August when National Mother’s Day arrives, as Thais traditionally use the flower while saying prayers for their mothers.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

 

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