Palm nut producers feel squeeze, petition governor

KRABI: Palm nut producers in Krabi took a petition to the local Office of Commercial Affairs (OCA) on Wednesday, asking for government assistance in buoying the price of their product.

OCA representative Barirak Chusit received requests from palm farmers, who took 10 trucks, carrying 500 tonnes of palm nuts, into the government-run Krabi Palm Oil Extraction facility.

Palm farmers in Krabi urged officials to enact regulations that would increase the quality of palm nuts purchased by refineries.

Mr Barirak said that the producers’ demands include the following:
– Government-operated refineries to not buy raw palm nuts from producers
– The government to provide a minimum profit margin of at least 0.45 satang per kilogram
– Refineries must only purchase higher-quality palm crops
– The government must order extraction facilities to purchase only qualified palm oil crops
– The government must fix prices
– Whole bunches of palm nuts should be bought at a higher price than fallen palm nuts.

Palm nut producers have been complaining of lowered prices and profit margins, as competition with lower-quality producers has driven down the price of palm nuts, which are refined into palm oil.

Mr Barirak promised to take the producers’ petition to the Krabi governor for consideration.

“If we have unqualified palm oil producers taking their product to the refineries, prices will decrease and locals will lose revenue,” Mr Barirak said. “I’ve asked farmers and palm cutters not to cut raw palms, in order to maintain quality standards.”

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

Phuket News

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