“People are starting to realize Thailand can export asparagus”

More consumers and importers are becoming aware of the asparagus from Thailand. As the country has received international help to increase both quality and yield, production is ramping up and demand is increasing.

Nattharinee Ruecha, a consultant for agricultural businesses in Thailand, states asparagus are doing well in Thailand: “Asparagus is one of the most economical vegetables in Thailand. The seasonality for asparagus is all year round. The climate affects the yield of asparagus. For example, with a temperature of 25-30 degrees Celsius it grows well during April to June, which is a rainy season. In the winter season, the yield will be less due to temperature, and price increases. The yield for the whole country is around 20,000-30,000 tons per year.”

According to Ruecha, the asparagus export suffered from the pandemic these past years. “The main export markets for us are Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Europe and the Middle East. However, during the past two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, the export value decreased. Severe drought and sudden floods affected the yield last year. However, this year there are more buying points and producers are starting to increase the production area with help of research and technical growing techniques. Now, we can export 1-3 tons per day. The buying points will gather the production and send it to packhouses to be prepared for export.”

Demand for the asparagus from Thailand is increasing as more buyers become aware that the product is available in this region. “Recently, I have received more inquiries from Europe and Middle East. The demand has increased, probably thanks to the consumers, who have enjoyed the taste of asparagus. In addition, people are starting to realize Thailand can export asparagus, so we just have to make even more people aware of this fact. So, we promote and sell. The more we promote, the more people know, and thus we can sell more of the product.”

The cultivation of asparagus in Thailand has received some international help over the past year, Ruecha explains: “Last year there were a few companies in Taiwan and USA that sent us new varieties of asparagus seeds, to test growing techniques under the climate in Thailand. We still have more varieties to be tested like purple and white types of asparagus. They ask us to work with universities, researchers and smart farmers to get successful results. At the same time, Thai producers here are starting to use smart agriculture to control the irrigation system and increase cultivation efficiency. We are supported by equipment and technology from a university and a few private firms in order to increase yields. LC Global Food (Thailand) Co., Ltd. has its own packing house for asparagus in the city where we live and we are exporting to new markets. Currently, I have been working with DOA, its G2G to open the markets together. I'm opening a market in Israel, where we could not export in the past. Soon we’ll be able to export to Israel, I expect.”

“Prices for asparagus haven’t changed compared to the previous year. The prices will fall only in case the importers buy directly from growers. The price for export grades is between 80-120 baht/kg. The price at farm gate is min. 30-60 baht/kg. We ask growers in the area to grow asparagus for export as well, not only for domestic markets. They are supported by the Department of Agriculture with GAP Certified, The Faculty of Agriculture-Khon Kaen University for new cultivation techniques and seeds from overseas.” Ruecha concludes.

For more information:
Nattharinee Ruecha (Chris)
Roadmap International Thailand Co., Ltd.
Tel: +66 86 844 8608
Email: nattharineeruecha@roadmapthaifarmers.com 
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cnattharineer/ 

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