Phuket Durian Fair promotes Thailand’s popular fruit for tourism

Hold your nose. Agriculture officials in Phuket this week opened the “Phuket Durian Fair” to promote the famous Thai fruit to bring income to local farmers. The Department of Agriculture of Phuket Province held the opening event in front of its offices on Narisorn Road in the island’s province’s capital district.

The late Anthony Bourdain once said of the durian, “Your breath will smell like you French kissed your dead grandmother.”

Phuket Agriculture Chief stressed the importance of durian to Phuket locals. Chief Suban Rakthong said the fruit is in high demand, especially among tourists from other Asian countries. Suban said that if Phuket is fully open to tourism, it will bring more profits to local farmers.

“We hope farmers will use more of their land to grow durian to replace other crops, as the current price of durian provides an incentive for farmers to grow more durian.”

The fair also held competitions for the best locally grown durians and products made from the fruit. There were also exhibitions on different types of durian.

Suban noted that 789 households in Phuket are home to durian farmers. He said an estimated 2,511 rai is used for durian cultivation on the island and the 610 tons of durian produced each year is worth about 53.7 million baht per year.

Durian is currently Thailand’s largest export. Exports of the popular fruit accounted for nearly 187 billion baht in 2021. Rice brought in 100 billion baht while rubber brought home 90 billion baht.

Thailand will retain its status as the world’s largest durian supplier for the next 5 years. However, due to intense competition from Malaysia and Vietnam, according to Professor Dr. Att Pisarnvanich, director of the Center Association, from 85% to 76%.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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