Thailand: Greeting its Next Rain Season
Every year, from the middle of May, most regions of Thailand, except for the southern Malay Peninsula, will enter their annual rainy season. Although the dry season will end soon, this year’s drought is extremely severe. According to the report of Bangkok Post, April 6, 2014, the rain fall from January to March is the least since 2006, and the drought is the worst in the past eight years. In the end of this April, Bangkok suffered a locally heavy rain during a short period. Many roads were flooded, which led to traffic jam. All these things made local people felt that the step of rain season is just in the corner. However, based on the information from the officials of the Department of Agriculture, Thailand (personal contact), this year’s rain season is expected to come later than usual. Because of the drought, agricultural production such as rice, rubber, and sugarcane is expected to decrease. On the other hand, the price of mango has fallen in its high season. For example, one of the most popular varieties, Nam Dok Mai, the retail price of between-crop season nearby JIRCAS liaison office was more than 120 baht (about 380 yen) per kilogram, and the current price is only 40 baht (about 125 yen) per kilogram. From this point of view, it is important to develop the off-season production technology which can shift harvest period of fruit and promote the processing techniques of agricultural product.
Fruit vendors nearby JIRCAS liaison office. (Fruit stand is fully filled with yellow Nam Doc Mai mango. Due to the small size, its price is only 15 baht (about 48 yen) per kilogram.)