PHUKET: Though agricultural tourism hasn’t really developed enough to make it a serious market segment on the island, that hasn’t stopped the government push for exploring yet another avenue for revenue.
In 2014, then Phuket Governor Maitri Inthusut threw his weight behind elephants, goats and pineapples in hopes of seeing growth in Phuket agritourism and its One Tambon One Province (OTOP) products.
Joining those projects, the island’s newest agriculturist tourism attraction – an organic sweetcorn farm – opened its doors on a 45-rai plot of land in Rassada on Sunday.
Vanich Farm is a welcome addition to the island’s tourism sector, said Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattan-avrangkul at the opening ceremony.
“We do not see much ‘agritourism’ on the island, as Phuket is known for its beautiful beaches and night life,” Ms Kobkarn said. “This will be an opportunity for visitors to see a different aspect of Phuket.”
Apirak Vanich, chief executive officer of the Vanich Group, explained that the farm is the only place on the island that grows sweetcorn.
“It is not easy to grow corn in the south because it rains a lot,” Mr Apirak said. “We have experts overseeing the process to ensure that our corn is organic.”
Vanich sweetcorn products are available under the brand name ‘Daily Fresh’ and provide a variety of goods, including beauty products. They can be purchased at the farm or locations where OTOP products are sold.
“There are sheep and rabbits on the farm to entertain tourists. Additionally, visitors will have a chance to plant vegetables, as well as see the agricultural process in the farm’s showroom,” Mr Apirak said.
The facility will be a learning center for children and adults to see how the farm-to-table process is achieved, Ms Kobkarn said.
Vanich Farm is located behind the Rassada Municipality Office and open from 10am to 6pm daily.
Unfortunately, ticket prices are race based: 100 baht for Thai nationals and 200 baht for foreigners. Children and the elderly will receive a 30 per cent discount.
For more information, call 076-525619.
— Chutharat Plerin
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