Durian drives southern economy with new Chinese 700 million baht factory

A Chinese company has invested 700 million baht to establish a durian processing factory in Songkhla’s Thepha district. The establishment of the Kunming-based company in southern Thailand is an indication of the growing love for durian in China and a growing export potential for the ‘love-it-or-hate-it’ fruit.

Manguwang Food Company will employ up to 1,200 workers at its 700 million baht (US$24 million) factory in Thepa. The factory will freeze dry and package durian grown in the region for export to China, where products made from the fruit are in increasing demand.

The company started freezing and exporting local south Thailand durian at the start of July.

The target is to export 12,000 tonne of durian each year, roughly a third of the total output from the southern provinces, growing the business to 20,000 tonnes in exports in following years.

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Good news for the local farmers is that the factory is buying quality durian product at higher prices than local buyers. The factory produces freeze-dried durian and quick frozen durian pulp.

Durian became even more popular around the region when Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma showcased the magic of digital commerce when he visited Bangkok in April 2018, selling 80,000 ‘golden-pillow’ durians within a minute on his retail website T-mall.

Thailand exported more than 600,000 tonne of fresh durian and durian products such as candy bars last year to China, according to the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.

In Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat – the three southernmost provinces on the Malay border – there are about 50,000 rai of durian plantations, mostly in highland areas. The greater southern region produces between 120,000-150,000 tonnes of durian per year.

Durian drives southern economy with new Chinese 700 million baht factory | News by Thaiger

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