Out of the pumpkin farm into the frying pan

By Thai Newsroom Reporters

FARMER KAMLAI SOMSEE who spared some parcels of her rice farm in Han Kha district of Chainat for a pumpkin plantation is looking for ways and means to help promote the consumption of crispy pumpkin chips made from her own cash crop.

Many teenagers in town have tried the deep-fried pumpkin chips in comparison to potato chips of a relatively popular brand name and commented the pumpkin chips taste just as good for a price half as much.

Though the woman farmer anticipated the purchase volume of her fresh pumpkin for the production of home-made crispy pumpkin chips would largely increase sooner or later, it would understandably rely on the popularity of this snack product among the young generations, not only in her Central Plains province but elsewhere throughout the country.  

Kamlai cultivated pumpkin seedlings of Khao Tok genus with the use of some fertilizers, pesticides and a dripping water system. It only takes a few months time for pumpkin plants to begin to yield fruit for harvest and sales.

Initially, she had used 20 rai of her land in Nong Sang subdistrict to grow the pumpkin on trial basis and simultaneously tended to 60 rai of her rice farm, which has not brought her much agricultural incomes year in year out. She has now contemplated an expansion of her pumpkin plantation by another 20 rai, given the lucrative earnings which it has so far generated. 

Undoubtedly, the 20 rai of land for an expanded pumpkin plantation would be parceled out of the adjacent rice farm but the existence of an expansive pumpkin plantation would ultimately depend on the purchase volume of the fresh pumpkin for the manufacturing of crispy pumpkin chips.

The ex-farm sale of fresh pumpkin for 10 baht per kilogramme is considered fairly interesting, given an average yield of 2.5 tons per rai, according to the woman farmer. 

A regular merchant would come to the plantation to buy the fresh pumpkin and lade his pickup trucks with the crop on the way to a domestic market. Another trader would follow shortly to buy some of Kamlai’s crop for sale to a local cottage industry which processes fresh pumpkin into crispy pumpkin chips.

The farmer said it remains to be seen whether the second merchant would come up with a plan to raise his purchase volume so she would begin to produce more fresh pumpkin for him, regardless of the quantity which the first one may demand at a time.


Pumpkins in the kitchen. Photos:


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