Connect with us

Phuket

Kapek almost kaput in Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PHUKET: A rare type of wild rice introduced to Phuket more than 60 years ago is in danger of disappearing from the island, officials say.

Four years ago there were seven farms growing Manchurian wild rice – known locally as kapek – for commercial purposes. Now there are only two left, said Pradub Chusakulvong of Kathu Agricultural Office.

“The main cause of the falling number of farms is people selling off their land to real estate companies or landlords trying to profit from water resources in other ways,” he said.

Sod Roongsawang is the 72-year-old owner of one of the two farms that grow the crop. He first planted kapek around seven years ago.

Although the crop has not made him rich, it has provided him and his family with a good living, he said.

“In the wet season I earn around 1,000 baht per day. In the dry season there’s not enough water and a lot of rats, but I never earn less than about 300 baht a day,” he said.

Mr Sod’s family sells kapek in markets at 20 baht per bunch of eight stems. It sells out every day, he said.

“I’ve supported my children’s education right through to graduation just by selling kapek,” he said.

Mr Pradub said a small number of households grew the rice for their own consumption, though not for trading.

“There’s quite a large chance kapek will become extinct in Phuket,” he said.

Kapek has been cultivated in Kathu for a long time, where it is still available in restaurants and some markets.

“I think farmers who have suitable land should grow it because it provides a very good income and has no natural pests, except rats,” Mr Pradub said.

Kapek is known as nor mai nam in Central Thai, which means ‘water bamboo’. Its Latin name is Zizania latifolia Turez.

Originating in China, it is one of only four types of wild rice in the world.

People do not eat kapek grains, but its stems. These are cut above the roots and the tops are sliced off, leaving a piece around 10 inches long.

Nipa Manakarn, a nutrition teacher at Phuket Vocational College, said only the white material on the inside of the stem is edible.

“The best way to cook kapek is stir-fried with oyster sauce, mixed with any kind of meat you fancy,” she said.

— Sitthipong Nongkaew

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Tourism2 hours ago

Alcohol ban predicted to damage Thailand’s reopening, reputation

Crime3 hours ago

Woman who cut safety rope of workers offers feeble excuse

Video3 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Dirty gloves probe, Bocelli & Lisa, ASEAN fallout | October 27

Sponsored11 hours ago

Top 5 dental clinics by Dental Corporations PLC in Thailand

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Police seize Covid-19 antiviral drugs allegedly stolen by hospital manager

Thailand4 hours ago

Student dies after receiving second Covid-19 vaccine shot

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Foreign Ministry denies blocking Poland’s donation of vaccines

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand4 hours ago

Travellers now exempt from quarantine advised to directly contact AQ hotels for refund

Crime5 hours ago

Legal proceedings expected this week for “Joe Ferrari” death in custody case

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: 8,452 new cases; provincial totals

Bangkok6 hours ago

Police bust Bangkok pub serving alcohol, 61 arrested

Bangkok6 hours ago

Russell Crowe bids Bangkok goodbye after much-praised tweets

Thailand6 hours ago

Thai government forms panel to probe the export of used medical gloves

ASEAN7 hours ago

Myanmar no-show a focus as ASEAN summit gets underway

Drugs7 hours ago

Police arrest 3 vans in Korat with 1.82 tonnes of marijuana

Thailand7 hours ago

Sedatives and painkillers, Thai new year – 3 million USD on 2 people | Thaiger Bites | Ep. 47

Thailand1 month ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism8 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending