Red pomelos can be cultivated year-round in Thailand, but the period for the tastiest fruits is about to come to an end. The majority of the harvest is used for local consumption, but the Thai growers are looking into increasing their exports of the fruit.
The demand for red pomelo is increasing and although it is a new fruit for Thailand growers, Thai agricultural consultant Chris Phetcharalum feels there is a good market for it. “Red pomelos are available all year round, as there are now a lot of growers who cultivate red pomelos. Each grower can control the time of harvest, which means they don’t have to compete with each other. You’ll always see the fruit on the local markets. The main season for the best and tastiest red pomelos is limited though, it starts in May and lasts until September.”
The local demand is steadily rising, but Phetcharalum claims other countries in East Asia are definitely interested in importing the fruit. Thailand needs to prepare to be up to the task. “We’ve had inquiries from East Asia on the red pomelos, we’re currently negotiating the details. However there is one immediate task ahead of us, which is increasing the cultivation. Once we’re in a good spot we can think about entering China as a market, as we realize they would like to try the red pomelos, same as other countries in the world,” Petcharalum explains. “To improve the cultivation though, we need to have better communication between the growers. The growers also need to use larger lands in order to increase production.”
The cultivation of red pomelo is relatively new to Thai growers. This has its advantages as there is hardly any competition for it yet. “Demand is currently high as the fruit is gaining popularity. We currently sell out once we bring it to the local markets. This is why increasing production is important; the quality of the fruit is there so we are ready for export. All we need now is quantity. We currently harvest about 50 tons per year. Prices are currently also high, but stable. The fruit sells for about two to five dollars per piece.” Phetcharalum concludes.