PM Prayut proud of Thailand’s pineapples

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha‘s face lit up with joy when he heard that Thailand is the biggest exporter of canned pineapple in the world, according to government spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri.

PM Prayut was “delighted” when the Agriculture Ministry informed him that Thailand holds a 32% share in the global canned pineapple market – the biggest in the world – valued at 20 billion baht, said the spokesperson on Wednesday.

The Philippines is the world’s second-largest canned pineapple exporter, holding a 22% share of the market.

Most of Thailand’s pineapple production takes place in western Thailand’s Prachuap Khiri Khan province, which should be considered “the pineapple metropolis of Thailand and the world,” said the spokesperson.

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Pineapple-mad Prayut said the government has devised a five-year plan from 2023-2027 to support the canned pineapple industry and enhance the production, processing, and marketing of the canned good.

The government will use money from the Fruit Development Fund to ensure that Thailand holds the top spot as the world’s biggest exporter of high-quality canned pineapple.

The Prime Minister also acknowledged the potential “bao mangoes” from Songkhla province in southern Thailand. Bao mangoes are smaller, grow quickly, and are usually enjoyed unripe with a sweet and spicy dip.

Bao mangoes already generate 58 million baht per year in the province and the market is constantly expanding, said PM Prayut.

Bao mangoes are already marked with geographical indication (GI) tags to ensure the protection of local products, said the prime minister.

“The prime minister appreciates and thanks the hard work from government agencies, farmers, and the private sector to jointly maximise the potential and maintain the quality of exported Thai products… which continue to drive the country’s economy,” said the spokesperson.

But not all is rosy in Thailand’s pineapple industry. One type of genetically-modified pineapple, “Pinkglows,” is illegal in Thailand.

The “instagrammable” Pinkglow pineapple has been genetically engineered to taste just like pineapple but with pink flesh.

Pinkglows might be cute and safe to consume, but Thailand has a strict GMO-free policy in place, and smuggling Pinkglows into the kingdom is a criminal offence punishable by up to one year in prison and/or a fine of up to 20,000 baht.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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