In March, the harvesting of pomelos begins in Thailand. Sharing the same period of the world shutting down isn’t exactly ideal, but the growers are trying the best they can to find a suitable market for their produce.
Agricultural consultant Nattharinee Ruecha is currently helping out with the harvest of pomelos in Thailand. This is one of two periods per year that the harvesting is in full swing: “In Thailand, the harvesting season for Red Pomelo is in March and August every year. Our Tub Tim Siam-variety is cultivated in Southern Thailand. The meaning of Tub Tim is Red Ruby while Siam was Thailand’s name in the past. The fruit is quite popular in Chinese markets and other regions. We have a large production this year and as such we would like to expand the sale this year as well. However, the harvesting month happens to be the same period that the export/import business around the world has been shut down due to the effective of Corona Virus. It’s going to be a challenge.”
The current harvesting is for the Red Pomelo-variety, while Thailand works with white pomelos from May to August. “We have the logistics solutions available to us, we can ship by truck, air and sea. For example, when it comes to exporting to china, we ship by truck from Thailand to Laos-Vietnam and then to China which will take about seven days. As expected, freight by sea will simply take longer while shipping via airfreight is very expensive. That’s why we would like to focus in Asia, especially China. The population is high there and there is always high demand. Importers have ordered large volumes every year.” Ruecha explains.
This year is of course a little different, with coronavirus having a severe impact on logistics and demand: “This month we’ll harvest about 3 million pomelos with all the growers in the area. The Coronavirus has made the season quite difficult for us, as export have slowed down significantly. We’re trying to do whatever we can to help the growers reach the global markets. But our hands are tied, which is a true shame as the pomelos are of great quality this year and we have large volumes available. ve about 3 million pcs in terms of production. Now in March, we are having production of around 3 million pcs with all growers in the area and this year, we don’t have good luck due to Corona virus outbreaks and the export is very slow since the beginning of the year. Still we are trying our best to sell the pomelos to global markets.” Ruecha concludes.