Phuket enjoys a fruity affair

PHUKET: Fruit lovers may want to make a trip to Phuket Town over the weekend, as a fair featuring the best produce from Eastern Thailand’s Chanthaburi province is now underway.

Seven different types of fruit from the famed fruit-producing region are now on sale at the central stage area at Saphan Hin.

The event, which began yesterday, is open daily through Sunday from 9am to 10pm.

Phuket Agricultural Office chief Winai Khwankaew said sales of about 10 tons a day are expected during the three-day event.

The fruit on sale are durian, mangosteen, rambutan, langsat, longan, salak, and banana.

The event is a collaboration between the Department of Agricultural Extension (DOAE) and the Chanthaburi provincial administration, which wants to avoid the problem of oversupply – and rock-bottom prices – in the eastern province, chief Winai said.

Locally produced food and agricultural products will also be available at the fair, which was officially opened by DOAE Deputy Director Anan Lila.

The fair is part of a nationwide effort to link commerce among fruit-growing regions, such as Chanthaburi, with tourist destinations like Chiang Mai and Phuket, he said.

Such markets have high demand, but also expect the highest-quality fruit, he said.

“The DOAE is trying to inform farmers across Thailand to produce the highest-quality fruit in order to meet demand in places like Phuket,” Mr Anan said.

“The fruit should be ripe and each lot should be uniform in terms of size, smell, sweetness and taste. They should also be attractive in appearance, with few scratches and bruises on the surface,” he explained.

Chanthaburi farmer Sammuang Tripetch said he was impressed with the turnout on the first day of the fair.

“People here are friendly and courteous. They bought the fruit so quickly, without asking for discounts or complaining about the quality,” he said.

“When I arrived here yesterday, I was worried that nobody would come because the fair is quite small. But after seeing a lot of people today, I feel happy,” he added.

The Phuket Gazette noted the following prices on the first day of the fair:

Mangosteen: 45 baht/kg, 60 baht/kg
Durian: 70 baht/kg
Rambutan: 35 baht/kg
Salak Fruit: 80 baht/kg
Langsat: 50 baht/kg, 65 baht/kg, 80 baht/kg
Banana: 20 baht, 30 baht and 40 baht per bunch
Longan: 80 baht/kg.

— Janpen Upatising

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