By Jaturong Kobkaew -September 4, 2021
The project “Eastern Fruit Corridor or EFC” is a project that wants to change the way of life of Thai gardeners. Especially farmers in the eastern region, which is an important fruit growing area.
This project has been in existence since 2017 but has not yet achieved concrete results. Because there is a problem in providing space to build a large cold room and inviting fruit entrepreneurs to invest in a cluster model.
Until the Eastern Special Development Zone Policy Office (OHEC) has to pull the project to operate by itself. To move forward as planned and in accordance with the policy of the Eastern Special Development Zone (EEC) in terms of community and social development.
As soon as this project came under the supervision of OHEC, it immediately proceeded to set up a large cold storage system (Blast freezer & Cold storage) to collect fruits in the eastern region and other areas all over the country that came out at the same time to be sold at the moment when the price rose. According to the principle of supply-demand balance.
The collaboration was signed between OHEC and PTT Public Company Limited and the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand or IEAT in January 2021, in which PTT will invest in building cold storage from gas. Liquefied Nature (LNG) with Blast freezer and Cold storage technology to preserve the quality of the fruit as if it was just picked from the orchard. Even though time has passed maintain the quality of that fruit for sale throughout the year. No need to rush to cut – hurry to send – hurry to sell Such cold storage is located in Smart Park Industrial Estate, Rayong Province, which is an industrial estate of the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand.
Most recently (September 4, 2021), the EFC project took another step forward. A Memorandum of Understanding for comprehensive fruit tree development in the EEC area was signed between OHEC and Rayong Provincial Administrative Organization( PAO) and the Rayong Fruit Tree Community Enterprise Network. This Memorandum of Understanding focuses on raising the level of farmers to produce fruit of international premium quality. Penetrate the high-income consumer market from cultivation to marketing with four main objectives:
1) Supporting fruit farmers groups, Has developed skills in applying innovations in the production, processing, trading and marketing of the new age comprehensively, Create access to resources,Increase bargaining power throughout the production period.
2)Raise the quality of Thai fruit standards, build consumer confidence both at home and abroad, price stabilization, reduce risks for farmers
3) Improve retention, extend the product life to maintain the same quality and taste for a long time by utilizing the cold storage system (Blast Freezer & Cold Storage)
4) Promote research and extension of high-value fruit tree processing with partners. To meet market demand and support modern marketing in a comprehensive way
In the first phase, the groups that join the contract to produce premium durian will have a network of 16 large plots of enterprises, about 700 farmers, an area of 8,200 rai (3242.02 acres) which can produce approximately 13,000 tons of durian per year and will expand the network of members more. From the cooperation of PAO and provincial agriculture that support together as well as expanding additional results in other fruit trees
Dr. Kanit Sangsubhan, Secretary-general of the Eastern Economic Corridor Policy Committee (OHEC), said about the essence of the signing of this cooperation that the EFC is the main project of the Agricultural Development Plan in the EEC. Create quality products according to market demands. Start with durian by OHEC focusing on premium market, A modern trading system is implemented through e-commerce and e-auction systems. Export products must be check and traceable.
“It is expected that in the next 3-4 years, durian production in Thailand will reach 2 million tons. Currently, the output from Rayong accounted for 10% or more than 100,000 tons per year and is likely to continue to increase. The cold storage system under the EFC project will be able to store the produce for sale during the off-harvest season or during the shortage period. Approximately 4,000 tons of durian will be stored per cycle, which, if managed efficiently, will store more than 10,000 tons per year, helping to maintain freshness, maintain flavor, and create price stability. Able to export durians for sale during important festivals that have a large demand, get high prices or set their own prices. As well as supporting groups of Thai and foreign tourists to eat Rayong’s durians all year round, generate more income for farmers sustainably,” said Dr. Kanit.