Thai durian farmers on the lookout for thieves after prices jump

Durian farmer, photo by Matichon.

Thai durian farmers are on the lookout for thieves now that durian prices have jumped.

Durian farmers in the northern Tak province, located near the border with Myanmar, are taking extra precautions to protect their orchards from thieves following a significant increase in durian prices this year. The rising prices prompted farmers to guard their fruit day and night, according to Matichon.

Chub Buasom, known affectionately as Uncle Chub, a farmer in the Ruam Thai Phatthana sub-district of Phop Phra district, revealed that durians were previously sold for 120 baht per kilogram at the orchards. However, the price has surged this year to 180 baht per kilogram.

The price hike can be attributed to a decrease in output caused by frequent fluctuations in temperature, with orchards experiencing alternating hot and cold spells.

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With the promise of higher profits, farmers have been compelled to hire guards to protect their orchards round the clock and prevent theft. In the Ruam Thai Phatthana sub-district alone, there are approximately eight large orchards operated by 18 farmers, covering over 100 rai of land, most of which are dedicated to cultivating the prized Mon Thong variety of durians.

These farmers actively collaborate, sharing information and assisting in problem-solving. They primarily rely on organic methods such as manure or bio-fertilisers, as chemical fertilisers are prohibitively expensive. The quality of their produce has gained recognition from traders who value the durians’ excellent quality that meets market demand.

Despite their success, these farmers hope that the new government will address the issue of high fertiliser prices, as it poses a significant challenge to their operations.

The durian farmers’ dedication to protecting their orchards and a desire for government intervention highlights the challenges faced by Thailand’s agricultural communities.

Thailand is the world’s biggest durian exporter. It was reported last week that according to the Trade Policy and Strategy Office, Ministry of Commerce, Thailand has retained its top spot for durian exports, accounting for a whopping 93.3% of the global market share.

Durian is one of the most popular fruits in Thailand and is commonly referred to as the “King of Fruits.” Durian season in Thailand runs from April to September. Durian has a unique taste and aroma that some people love, while others find it disgusting.

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Tara Abhasakun

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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