In the heart of Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, the “Khao Chao Durian” has emerged as an economic gem, attracting attention for its substantial contribution to both fame and income in the region. Situated in the lush Khao Chao subdistrict area of Pranburi District, this prized fruit has garnered accolades and awards, serving as a beacon of success for local farmers. Notably, in 2023, the “Khao Chao Durian Large Plot” secured the first-place honor at the provincial level’s outstanding large plot competition, while also clinching the first runner-up position at the district level.
The journey of this enterprising group began in 2017 when they first assembled, driven by a shared vision. Today, they cultivate an impressive expanse of 1,030 rai, with 55 dedicated farmer members. Remarkably, 37 of these farmers have already obtained the coveted GAP certification, while four others are currently in the certification process. Their steadfast commitment extends to training initiatives aimed at transitioning durian production to an organic farming system. Furthermore, they are in the process of seeking Geographical Indication (GI) registration from the Department of Intellectual Property, with expectations that this prestigious recognition will be granted by the end of 2023.
Within the extensive Khao Chao durian plantation, it is the Monthong variety that takes center stage. Cherished for its popularity among consumers, both domestically and in international markets, this breed remains a preferred choice among local farmers. The initial year of investment necessitates an average expenditure of 23,800 baht/rai/year, encompassing soil preparation, planting, seedlings, maintenance, and sundry expenses. Subsequently, costs decrease to an average of 22,100 baht/rai/year during years two and three, as there are no longer soil preparation, planting, or seedling fees.
As the durian trees mature and enter their fruit-bearing phase in the fourth to sixth years, the average cost further reduces to 19,600 baht/rai/year. This reduction is attributed to decreased pesticide usage and a lesser reliance on hormones and supplements. The strategic planting period, from May to June during the rainy season, aligns perfectly with the ideal climate for seedling growth. This approach yields an average harvest of 990 kilograms per rai, with each Monthong durian weighing approximately 2 to 4 kilograms. At an average selling price of 190 – 200 baht per kilogram, farmers enjoy an average annual return of 193,050 baht/rai, ensuring a commendable profit of 173,450 baht/rai in 2023.
The Khao Chao durian season typically commences in June and stretches through August, yielding a total production of 350 tons. The peak of production occurs in July, constituting 44 percent of the province’s Khao Chao durian output. Notably, approximately 90 percent of this produce is sold locally and to agritourism groups or tourists visiting the gardens, while the remaining 10 percent is sold online. The Khao Chao Durian Plot Yai group, with a presence on platforms like Facebook and farmersmarketonline.com, provides a quality guarantee for online buyers, promising compensation for any damage or subpar quality during transit.
For the Khao Chao Durian Large Plot Group, their journey towards success extends beyond the fields. They have painstakingly cultivated a brand identity, “Khao Chao Durian,” in collaboration with Pranburi District and Pranburi District Agriculture Office. This initiative supports cultivation, marketing, and agricultural tourism while ensuring product standards that guarantee the quality of the farmers’ produce. Embracing innovative techniques, they employ Magik Growth wrapping bag technology to mitigate pest infestations and animal bites. This approach not only preserves fruit quality but also eliminates the need for chemical interventions. Following the principles of the BCG Model, they focus on sustainable growth and an improved quality of life. In addition to their primary crop, they are also experimenting with processed durian products, including fried durian, candied durian, freeze-dried durian, durian crackers, and even Durian Ice Cream.
Looking ahead, there is a discernible trend toward expanding planting areas to meet growing market demands, with an emphasis on encouraging more farmers to leverage online markets.
In the middle of July, as the harvest season unfolds, the Khao Chao Durian Large Plot Group, in collaboration with Pranburi District Office and the Khao Chao Subdistrict Administrative Organization, will host the Khao Chao Durian Festival and Pranburi District Good Products event. Set to take place at the Pranburi District Office in Khao Noi Subdistrict, Pranburi District, this festival promises a delightful opportunity to immerse in the world of Khao Chao durian.
For those seeking more information about Khao Chao durian production from the large plot in Khao Chao Subdistrict, Pranburi District, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, inquiries can be directed to Mr. Chatri Jabkan, President of the Khao Chao Durian Large Plot Group, at 09 0447 2336. Alternatively, you can reach out to the Pranburi District Agriculture Office at 0 3262 1786 or SSO 10, Ratchaburi at 0 3233 7954, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.