By Thai Newsroom Reporters
FARMER WICHIAN Suacharoen’s economic status has virtually turned from rags to riches with the cultivation of fingerroot, the medicinal plant scientifically proven to ward off Covid-19 infection.
The farmer has grown fingerroot plants, known as krachai khao in Thai, in his quiet backyard in Baan Maklua subdistrict of the capital district of Nakhon Sawan for several years without the slightest idea that they could eventually become a cash crop selling for a very good price to a major food market in town now that it has been known to be able to deter the coronavirus.
Wichian and his family members have been tending to the highly lucrative occupation, given a market price of 120 baht a kilogramme of fresh fingerroot today, compared to 80 baht barely a few months earlier. The income from the sale of the herbal produce has incredibly soared to an average of 6,000 baht daily.
The farmer is looking to expand his fingerroot plantation now that vegetable and spice vendors at the market in town have offered to buy an unlimited volume of his cash crop. One of them has strongly recommended the farmer keep growing more and more fingerroot and assured he will buy it all up with a relatively high price being offered in competition against others.
Some of the farmers throughout the 12-village Baan Maklua subdistrict have uprooted the plants which they earlier cultivated and turned over the top soil of their farm in preparation for fingerroot saplings while others have looked for a parcel of farmland to rent and run this agricultural enterprise.
Vendor Rossamon Khanthayan, one of the regular buyers of Wichian’s produce, noticed that the medicinal plant is completely sold out day in day out at the market in town, prompting them to encourage other farmers in the capital district and those in other districts to start doing what Wichian has been doing, promising them a purchase of an unlimited volume of the anti-coronavirus spice.
She has contemplated expanding her trading business from the downtown market to another in a nearby district where she will rope in some of her relatives to sell fingerroot, keeping fingers crossed that a meager 50 kilogrammes of it will be supplied daily by any farmers other than Wichian whose entire harvests have already been booked up by rival vendors.
Given its medicinal potential to protect people from the coronavirus, the freshly-harvested spice might be selling for no less than 180 to 200 baht a kilogramme at marketplaces anywhere throughout the country.
Some fingerroots, with this plant being a kind of ginger (Zingiberaceae). Photos: Sanook.com