The Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives has set up special teams to inspect quality of durians in its effort to prevent traders from selling unripe durians to customers.
The ministry’s movement came as the country is now entering the fruit season and there is growing demand for durians in the local market as well as overseas market, particularly from China on online sale via Alibaba’s e-commerce website Tmall.com.
The operation is also in response to speculation that durian price will be doubled this year due to decreasing yields as a result of summer storms that wreaked havoc to many durian plantations in the country.
Prices are expected to rise to 70-100 baht per kilogramme, comparing to 40-50 baht a kilo in the previous season.
Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives Minister Grisda Boonrach said on Thursday (April 26) that approximately 500,000 tonnes of durian have made their way into the markets.
But due to the inclement weather conditions brought about by summer storms over the past few weeks, substantial amount of the fruits were damaged, forcing durian prices to go up.
In order to ensure consumers are provided with the highest quality fruits, he said special teams of inspectors have been assigned to carry out checks on durian plantations to prevent them making up the shortfall in supply by selling young fruits.
He said random checks of durians sold in the market found 3% of them were substandard so far. Agricultural officials would coordinate with the Office of the Consumer Protection Board to take action on fraudulent suppliers.
Meanwhile director-general of the Department of Internal Trade Mr Boonyarit Kalayanamit estimated that the total amount of durian that will reach the market this year will be around 5 – 6 million tonnes which is 5% lower than last year partly due to summer storms.