Heat wave hammers Thailand’s stinky, but lucrative durian farms

May 05, 2024 | Taipei Times |

Amid a scorching heat wave in Southeast Asia, durian farmers in Thailand are grappling with reduced yields and soaring costs, posing a threat to the lucrative industry. With temperatures reaching around 40°C for weeks, the durian season has been shortened, leading to smaller and less valuable fruits. Farmers like Busaba Nakpipat are facing operational challenges, with drought forcing them to spend thousands of dollars on truckloads of water to sustain their trees. Thailand's durian exports, primarily to China, are worth billions, but the heat is driving up competition from countries like Vietnam. While demand remains high, concerns loom over the long-term sustainability of the industry. At local markets, stallholders fret over diminished earnings, highlighting the far-reaching economic impact of the crisis. With uncertainty over the availability of water, both farmers and sellers fear for the future of Thailand's prized fruit.

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