KRABI: This year’s drought is forcing Krabi farmers to diversify their crops.
Boonlap Maepeng, 61, was having trouble producing rubber due to a lack of water when she was approached by a Bangkok businessman looking for dried bamboo leaves, which are used as wrappings for Bak Jang (rice dumplings).
Ms Boonlap now collects bamboo leaves from her entire village in order to meet the increasing demand. She said villagers can earn a lot from the bamboo leaf trade and that it’s good way to supplement their income during the dry season, when rubber collections are not enough.
“They are sun-dried or oven dried during the rainy season,” Ms Boonlap said. “I buy fresh leaves at 15 baht/kg and sell at 40 baht/kg. I sell 800-1000kg/month, which earns us approximately 30,000 baht.”
“Those who have lost their incomes should sell bamboo leaves; it’s easy to collect from your own farm and sell.”
— Kritsada Mueanhawong
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