Cabbages cash in: Korat farmers cultivate green gold for speedy harvest and sweet profits

Picture courtesy of KhaoSod

Farmers in Korat are turning to the cultivation of cabbages due to their short life cycle, quick harvest, and attractive returns. This shift has been motivated by a departure from traditional crops like potatoes and sugarcane. Farmers are attracted to cabbage farming because it guarantees quick cash flow compared to other crops that take longer to mature and sell.

In Ban Mai Somboon, a village in Nakhon Ratchasima province, farmers have started to change their planting methods, moving away from single-crop farming to short-life crops like cabbages. This shift was spurred by successful trials and the proximity of local markets such as Don Kwaen Market, which serves as a purchasing and distribution point for agricultural produce.

This change has seen more than ten farmers in Ban Mai Somboon switch from potato and sugarcane farming to cabbage farming, with an additional ten other short-life crop types being introduced. This change is enhancing the income and quality of life for the local community, reported KhaoSod.

Forty-two-year-old Phuangphen Chalomklang is one of the farmers from Ban Mai Somboon who spoke about her transition to cabbage farming. She owns a four-acre farm where she used to grow potatoes. However, the fluctuating prices of potatoes and the increasing cost of planting them prompted her to look for an alternative crop.

The discovery of a consistent water supply from a borehole all year round led her to short-life crops like cabbages, which mature quickly and guarantee quick returns. The proximity to local markets also meant lower transportation costs.

Cabbages take approximately 60 days to mature, and given the current favourable weather conditions, the crop is thriving. The price per kilogramme ranges from 8 to 10 baht at the farm, which is quite satisfactory considering the cost price is 6 to 7 baht per kilogramme. In times of high demand, the price can go up to 15 baht per kilogramme. Last year, Phuangphen managed to make more than 300,000 baht from her three-acre cabbage farm.

Borehole water

Nattaphon Peekklang, the village head of Ban Mai Somboon, stated that the farming area of the village was initially dominated by single-crop farming of sugarcane and potatoes. However, with the introduction of borehole water for farming and the establishment of Don Kwaen Market, farmers have more options for what to plant.

The traditional crops took almost a year to mature, and with the rising costs every year, short-life crops like vegetables, especially cabbages, have become increasingly popular. The cabbage trend among farmers continues to grow due to its low investment compared to the return on investment.

The cost of planting cabbages is around 7 to 8 thousand baht per acre, while the income during high prices can exceed 100,000 baht per acre. Currently, nearly ten farmers in the village have switched to cabbage farming, covering an area of approximately 30 acres.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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