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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Southern oil palm farmers complain of falling prices

    Oil palm farmers in Thailandís southern provinces are complaining that the prices they are getting for their crops have nosedived to an average of five baht per kilogram, which they claim is below their costs, given the high price of fertiliser.


    The average 5 baht/kg is not, however, as low as the about 3.11 baht/kg in 2019 and 4.8 baht/kg in 2020. Last year the price was 6.6 baht/kg. The price of fertiliser, meanwhile, has shot up to about 2,000 baht per 100kg sack this year, due to the war in Ukraine, compared to between 700 and 800 baht/100Kg last year.


    Warin Suwanrat, an oil palm farmer in Trang province, told Thai PBS that he earned about 3,000 baht from the sale of his raw palm nuts, but had to spend about 10,000 baht to buy fertiliser, because palm trees need fertilising every four months to bear fruit.


    He disclosed that some farmers cannot afford fertiliser at all.


    Another farmer, Apinya, claimed that the price of raw palm nut has steadily declined during the past month, to only 4baht/kg now, even though not much of the crop has been harvested.


    The farmers have called on the Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives to address the fertiliser price, but the problem appears to be beyond the control of the government.


    Southern oil palm farmers complain of falling prices | Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand to the world

  2. #2
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    panama hat's Avatar
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    That is quite bad for the farmers . . . perhaps some who changed from rubber to oil shouldn't have.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by panama hat View Post
    That is quite bad for the farmers . . . perhaps some who changed from rubber to oil shouldn't have.
    They always seem to be chasing the next big thing and not catching it. Rubber was where it was at, then many didn't stay the distance and after several years people around here dug out their trees just before Covid arrived and rubber prices went up.
    Whatever crops they choose the farmers are at the mercy of the middlemen. I feel for them.

  4. #4
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shutree View Post
    They always seem to be chasing the next big thing and not catching it. Rubber was where it was at, then many didn't stay the distance and after several years people around here dug out their trees just before Covid arrived and rubber prices went up.
    Rubber may not be the best example. People persisted with it for years and years. At some point they had to try and make a better living.

    Obviously with producers giving up the supply is lessened and the price has to some extent...err...bounced back.

  5. #5
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    Rubber guaranteed daily income, unlike palm oil . . . and needs far less fertiliser. Add some 'new' ideas on tapping techniques and coagulation, shields for when it rains - never a reason to replace them with palm oil.


    But yes, as Shutree quite correctly said:
    Quote Originally Posted by Shutree View Post
    They always seem to be chasing the next big thing

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    Quote Originally Posted by panama hat View Post
    Rubber guaranteed daily income, unlike palm oil . . . and needs far less fertiliser. Add some 'new' ideas on tapping techniques and coagulation, shields for when it rains - never a reason to replace them with palm oil.


    But yes, as Shutree quite correctly said:
    They do move quickly from one fad to the next. Whatever will provide income seems to be the most popular trend. To be fair, some have tried to produce a mix of cash crops, usually when rubber trees reach the end of their productive life cycle.

    While they are chasing income, the land has to remain productive. The long term benefit of crop rotation usually does not even occur to them. All they are interested in is income.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Switch View Post
    The long term benefit of crop rotation usually does not even occur to them.
    Around here the five year rotation plan is rice/rice/rice/rice/rice. It's amazing that the land supports the same crop for decades.



    Quote Originally Posted by Switch View Post
    All they are interested in is income.
    Which is understandable. The latest idea locally seems to be the buffalo. People say you can make more than a million baht per year selling buffalo semen. Apparently people want cows inseminated so that they can have baby buffaloes that grow up so that they can sell the semen to make a lot of money making more buffaloes. So far as I can see, around here anyway, buffaloes are only a status symbol, they contribute nothing practical to the rural economy. It all feels a bit like the Dutch tulip craze of the 17th Century.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Switch View Post
    To be fair, some have tried to produce a mix of cash crops, usually when rubber trees reach the end of their productive life cycle.
    You can do interplanting in a rubber plantation for the duration of a tree's life. All you need is to plant ground foliage to add to fertiliser that supplies NPK to help nourish other crops. It's been done in MY, IN etc (and in ours in TH) ... for a long time . . . but Thai farmers are too slow and unwilling to catch on

  9. #9
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    He disclosed that some farmers cannot afford fertiliser at all.
    High cost of fertiliser impacts all sorts of crops here. At least half the small farmers in our area are not planting this year. No profit when the day is done.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by panama hat View Post
    You can do interplanting in a rubber plantation for the duration of a tree's life. All you need is to plant ground foliage to add to fertiliser that supplies NPK to help nourish other crops. It's been done in MY, IN etc (and in ours in TH) ... for a long time . . . but Thai farmers are too slow and unwilling to catch on
    Thai farmers will generally follow neighbouring trends in search of income. The majority are aware of little else. Expecting them to adopt contemporary western techniques will take too long. They farm at subsistence levels, because that’s all they have ever known.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Switch View Post
    Expecting them to adopt contemporary western techniques will take too long.
    Except they aren' western techniques . . . well, some are, but they are quite popular in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam.

    Farmers are generally cautious, but there are several thousand rai of plantations using these techniques. Some are as simple as using a two-sided knife (like they used to a long time ago) to tap upward and downward others are using the d3 technique of tap, tap, rest and then all the way to using ethylene to coagulate and other techniques to coagulate.

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat prawnograph's Avatar
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    Chanthaburi Palm Oil #1
    across the Gulf, south eastern, and in 2013 a few palm oil plantations started off near us.

    Doomed to fail, I followed progress on this one at Takat Ngao, brackish water, soil dredged up to produce a sort of canal system.
    The plants simply died. It looks unchanged now, even weeds struggle to survice.


  13. #13
    Thailand Expat prawnograph's Avatar
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    Chanthaburi Palm Oil #2

    Seems some palm oil farms did survive, this one currently for sale, though the advert doesn't have any photos of the plantation further inland at Na Yai Am about 20km northwards off Sukhumvit Rd

    Chantaburi Palm Oil Farm for Sale
    Asking Price: ฿ 43,200,000; Land Size: 76,992m2 (48 Rai 48 Wah)
    Palm Oil palms were planted on nearly the whole of the property in 2014 and have been harvested since 2017. Irrigation water on the property is serviced from 2 dams. The harvested oil is sold to the company in Rayong. The land has no encumbrances and is in commercial use. The sale offer has come about because the owner has moved to the north of Thailand and has other business interests.

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat prawnograph's Avatar
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    Chanthaburi Palm Oil #3

    A recently planted one, also from reclaimed swamp areas, pics from earlier this month; this is at Pa Daeng, better known for its commercial salt farms - see how they survive.


  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by prawnograph View Post
    see how they survive.
    In those conditions . . .

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by panama hat View Post
    Except they aren' western techniques . . . well, some are, but they are quite popular in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam.

    Farmers are generally cautious, but there are several thousand rai of plantations using these techniques. Some are as simple as using a two-sided knife (like they used to a long time ago) to tap upward and downward others are using the d3 technique of tap, tap, rest and then all the way to using ethylene to coagulate and other techniques to coagulate.
    My bad using the prefix, ‘western’. Especially as Asia is the predominant grower. My main point related to subsistence plantations, where my first hand experience is drawn from.
    My apologies for allowing such generalizations to enter my post.

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Switch View Post
    My apologies for allowing such generalizations to enter my post.
    Egregious . . . not . . .

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Switch View Post
    My bad using the prefix, ‘western’. Especially as Asia is the predominant grower. My main point related to subsistence plantations, where my first hand experience is drawn from.
    My apologies for allowing such generalizations to enter my post.
    Perhaps outsider is a better word...

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