Growers of Chinese cabbage in Chiang Mai Province are seeking help from the government after the ex-farm prices of their produce plunged to only two baht per kilogram, while their costs are estimated at 4-5 baht/kg.
One of the growers, Suchon Natehathai of Mae Taeng District, told Thai PBS reporters that he had invested more than 40,000 baht to grow Chinese cabbage on his land, hoping to make some profit to support his family.
He said, however, that middlemen offered him only two baht per kilogramme and he had little choice but to sell to them at that price, otherwise the cabbage would rot.
Another grower said he harvested his crop and drove to town to sell to vendors in the market at 5-6 baht/kg. After deductions for fuel and labour costs, however, he said that he hardly made any profit, but that it was still better than letting the vegetables rot in the field.
Somkid Laohang, head of Kuet Chang sub-district, said that the dumping of vegetables from China, which arrive in the north-eastern province of Nong Khai on the Laos-China high-speed train, may have forced prices of Thai vegetables to drop, as several Thai venders have turned to the cheaper Chinese produce.
Some vegetable farmers have adapted by opening home stays, to cater to tourists, to offset their declining revenues from farm produce, said Somkid adding, however, that the highland villages do not have sufficient water, especially during the dry season.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service