EFC Fruit Metropolis that will Change the Lives of Farmers

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By Jaturong Kobkaew -January 27, 2021

Must admit that in the past until the present, One of the problems faced by fruit farmers is when the produce comes out at the same time. Together causing the price to fall because supply is greater than demand. Do not sell, have to sell. Because they were kept and spoiled some even gave up the loss. Bulk carrying on the roadside, selling like giving away for free.

But if there are many large cold rooms to collect fruit during the fall price. To be sold during a moment when the price moves up, it will solve the problem.

Brought to the concept of project preparation “Eastern Fruit Corridor or EFC” in the Eastern Special Development Zone or EEC, one of the country’s top fruit-growing areas such as rambutan, durian, mangosteen.

There will be a large cold storage system (Blast freezer & Cold storage) to collect fruits in the east and various area all over the country  that came out the same time. It is sold during the shortage season  in a fresh state, it tastes as good as it had just been picked from the beginning.

Piloted with a modern cold storage room for storing fruits with a size of 4,000 tons, which PTT is an investor. With the use of cooling energy from liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a blast freezer technology, preserve the quality of the fruit as if it were fresh from the orchard and a cold storage system that will keep the quality of the fruit for sale throughout the year. Do not hurry to cut – rush to sell – send delivery such as currently located in the Smart Park Industrial Estate, Rayong Province of the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand.

Honestly, this project has been in existence since 2017, but it has not yet been achieved. Because there are problems in procuring space and persuading fruit entrepreneurs to join in the investment in a cluster model, causing the Office of the Eastern Special Development Zone Policy Committee (Sor Por Por.)

to pull such projects to operate by themselves. In order to keep the project going according to plan and in accordance with the implementation plan of the Eastern Special Development Zone (EEC) policy on community and social development.

Within the fruit terrace area, In addition to building a cold room for storing fruit, There is also a warehouse building, logistics and packaging building ,Cooperative office building to manage the fruits that will be sent to hundreds of thousands of tons. In conjunction with the civil state approach to the private sector to participate,  the Sor Por Por will coordinate and promote cooperation in the area of benefits for public and private agencies invested in a fruit cluster model, Establish a management mechanism and coordinate relevant persons to manage the project. Especially private trade experts, Local government organizations, cooperatives and related persons In order to return the benefits of the project to the people in the area. It is expected to have an investment value of approximately 1,500 million baht, which is an important step in the Thai fruit industry from the 3-party cooperation consisting of

1. PTT is an investor in building a modern pilot cold storage system, size 4,000 tons (Phase 1), using refrigeration energy from liquefied natural gas (LNG) for agricultural use. With Blast freezer technology to keep the quality of the fruit as if it were fresh from the garden and the Cold storage system to maintain the quality of that fruit for sale all year round.

2.Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) provides an area by specifying a part of Smart Park Industrial Estate, Map Ta Phut, Rayong Province, an initial phase of 40 rai, which has been declared as a special economic promotion zone that will receive benefits under the EEC measure.

3. Sor Por Por. Coordinate and promote benefits for public and private agencies. To jointly develop cold storage systems and fruit-related industries This will help gardeners do not have to rush to collect – rush to sell – send delivery. This makes it impossible for the price, the quality and the reputation.

Supattanapong Punmeechaow

Supattanapong Punmeechaow, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy, said about this cooperation. “When the Eastern Fruit Terrace Project was completed the Farmers will have a stable and stable income as well as add added value to make agricultural products more competitive around the world. Strengthening Thailand and step into the center of the world fruit market “

Like Mr. Suriya  Chuengroongruangkit, Minister of Industry confident that the Eastern Fruit Terrace Project In addition to generating income for gardeners will also attract more industries to invest in the industrial estates. Cause employment economic expansion In line with the government’s goals for the development of the EEC area. Help solve the problem of volatile agricultural prices. Pricing from the middleman stabilize the prices of agricultural products As well as reduce the market risks of farmers.

Mr. Kanit Sangsubhan

Mr. Kanit Sangsubhan, Secretary-General of EEC said that the Eastern Fruit Terrace Project or EFC is the main project of the agricultural development plan in the EEC area that adjusts business operations according to “Demand Driven Approach” is to establish a whole business system from determining the products and services that the market needs. To the means of trade – transportation – cultivation. To meet the market needs, it consists of 4 important parts:

1. Studying the market demand, In this regard,Sor Por Por, studying international and domestic market demand of fruits in the Eastern region. To understand the behavior and products that the market needs.

2. Setting up a modern trading system through e-commerce and e-auction, as well as investing in natural materials packaging. Allowing for convenient transportation by air, So that the fruits of the East can enter the international market immediately.

3. Investment in cold storage with modern technology.

4.Organization of a system of cooperative fruit farmers who will be participating in the project. Which requires development of production technology to produce premium products that meet market needs. Send benefits to farmers thoroughly.

This project will be a pilot with Durian. Which is the fruit king of Thailand before expanding to other fruits and other products such as seafood that want to keep the quality of the product fresh. Appetizing colors can be sold all year round ,Generate stable income with Thai farmers. In addition, other activities will be developed as well, such as processing activities, auction and exports.”said Mr. Kanit.

Ms. Somjin Phileuk

Ms. Somjin Phileuk, IEAT Governor, mentioned the readiness of the Smart Park Industrial Estate development that it is a new S-curve industrial estate that supports investment in the industry of the future  that uses innovation and advanced technology in the same place. It is also a model industrial estate with complete utilities. Including various buildings with international standards take into account the environment and quality of life in other areas.

On Monday, 25 January 2021, all 3 agencies, namely the Office of the Eastern Special Development Zone Policy Committee , PTT and IEAT, have signed a memorandum of cooperation. Establishing a cold storage system (Blast freezer & Cold storage) under the Eastern Fruit Corridor (EFC) project with Mr. Supattanapong Punmeechao, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy as the president and Mr. Suriya  Chuengroongruangkit, Minister of Industry be a witness at the Eastern Economic Corridor Policy Office , CAT Telecom Building, 25th Floor.

It is said that if this project can be driven according to the plan. It will be a major driving force, making Thailand a world fruit metropolis ever.

Jaturong Kobkaew : With a passion for the scent of ink, After graduating from Phranakhon Rajabhat University. He applied to be a writer with a small magazine in 1992 before being persuaded to write a pocket book novel into a publishing house. But fell into the imaginary world and soon returned to journalism with magazines and newspapers Until turning to the economic news, trade – investment since 1996 until now.

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