Chinese investors and their Thai partners have inaugurated a durian processing factory in the insurgency-stricken Deep South, in a joint venture where hundreds of residents could reap jobs from the tasty fruit known for its spiny husk and stinky aroma, agriculture officials said.
Manguwang Food Co., Ltd., would employ up to 1,200 workers at its 700-million baht (U.S. $24 million) factory in Thepa, a district of Songkhla province that lies in the Deep South, company officials said. The factory will freeze dry and package durian grown in the region for export to China, where products made from the fruit are in great demand.
“The Deep South has quality and tasty durian,” Xiao Yaoheng, the company’s managing director, said during the factory’s opening ceremony on Sunday. “We are determined to help farmers in Deep South and promote durian internationally.”
By next year, the factory would be processing about 20,000 metric tons [44 million pounds] of durian, or about a third of the Deep South’s yearly crop, providing the region with an annual cash flow of 2 billion baht (U.S. $67 million), company officials told BenarNews.
Manguwang’s website lists two products that would be produced in Thailand: Freeze-dried whole durian and quick-frozen “durian pulp.” Freeze-drying involves the use of liquid nitrogen, allowing the fruit to be kept up to two years while maintaining its freshness, experts say.
Full story: BenarNews
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