JANUARY 1974 345 PAGES nutrition









A. PrIMAny



IS. 5 I+CO0NDi AR y









JANUARY 1974 7.












8. SUPPLEMEN4TARY NOTES (Sponsorint Orainlzationt Publ

.shers, AvallibilityJ


This Report reviews the agricultural resources of Thailand, aimed at

evaluating the progress made in recent years to increase production of

subsistence and industrial crops, through the expansion of its crop

pa.ttern. In preparing this report the objectives stressed were: (1) To

evaluate the production of subsistence and industrial crops now grown in

Thailand, in order to determine whether the output of a particular crop

is sufficient or deficient in relation to domestic requirements. (2) To

evaluate in what areas there is a need for germplasm of existing major

and minor crops, aimed at further improvement of the diversificat'ion

program. (3) To recommend for field trials crops presently grown only

on a minor scale or in need of improvement through the introduction of

.improved breeding stock,. and others not hitherto grown, but potentially

suitable, in Thailand, that should result in the expansion of the

country's food resources and thereby contribute to the improvement of






931-11-130-828 1


PASA (AJ)-2-69 IS. I YIL Ok 0OCU.It.NT

All) ,.Wn-I





An Evaluation


Germplasm Requirements


Llewelyn Williams

Agricultural Research Service


Study supported by

Technical Assistance Bureau

Office of Agriculture

Agency for International Development


Washington, D. C.


January 1974

This is

a Departmental staff document, intended for distri­

bution among interested individuals on a privileged basis. The contents represent solely the viewpoints of the author and collaborators, and do not necessarily reflect those of

the U, S. Department of Agriculture, or of the Agency for

International Development.



• .



. . . . . . .


. • .

*. . *

* .




Part I

Current agricultural crops Ri ce










.. .



Corn (maize) a . . Rubber .. * e * * .* . . . Root crops . . . . . . . . Sugarcane . . . . . . . . Fiber crops . .. .. .. Pineapple . . .. Soybeans . .. .. . . . . Castorbean . . . . . . . . . Vegetables . . . . . . Peanut . . Mungbean and matpe . . Coconut. * . * * Fruit crops . . . Tobacco . .. .. .. Lac . . . . . . . .













. *




. . . a . .. . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .......... . . ... .. .... ...... . . . . .. . . .

. . .. . . . . .. . . . . . ... . . . . . . .. , , 0 ,

. . . . . . .

. .

. . . . ... .. * *. * . . . * ......*




* . . ..






a.... 43

. 50


... 61

. . 89 . .a . 90


a ..


. ..

. ..



a & a e o. * *


. .

. .

o e*


.. .. ..

.. .. .. .. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Forest products ..........................





. 116

. 124

. 127


Fisheries ,. . . . . . . . .......

Sericulture . ..



. . . . .



0 ..0 0 *


. 145 . a

.. a

. .


Part II

Minor and potential crops .. Oil palm .. Tea ...

. .

. .


. .

. ..

. .

. .

. .

. . . . . 151

. . . . . .152

.. . . . . 161

Coffee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cacao . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pepper . . .. .. . .. . . . . . . . . .. . . . . Pulse crops . . .... .. ... ... ........ Horticulture in the Northeast ..... ... ....... Fruit industry- potential . . . . . . .. ......... Cashew .. 0 * 0 a .a a . . .

. ...... Pome fruits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. * . . Berry crops . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . .. . . . . Forage crops . . . . . . . . . . . . * . 0 . * Cereal grains . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . Oilseeds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


. . . . 167

. . . . 179

. . . . . 183

.. .. 185



. . a *


. .



. 228

. . 229

a. . 230

. . . 238

. . 250


Potatoes ..... . .................... Arrowroot . ...........................

Sunn hemp .. . .....................

Guar ... . . . • • • . .................

00 00 0a Pyrethrum & . .. . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spices ..a * . a . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Essential oil plants . . . .. ............. 00 00 Vanilla e.....

e o o o o o a o o Saffron ......... . . . . . .. .. .. . . . . . Camfrey . . . . . . . . .. . . .. .. . .. ...... Forest crops . * * * * *. *. * *. * *. * *. * . a . . F er til izers . . . . . Plant introduction


. . ..


. 0 a. 0. 0 0.




. ..

Review of major crop production. .





. .





. .

. .

. .


. . . . ..


*a . . ..







. a. 294








. so......

Collaborators . . . . . . . . . . o . . .






268 272

. 0 0. 0 0, 0. . . . . 302


Low output or potential crops ..












. .


. . .........







....... .








This Report is made possible by funds provided by the Office of

Agriculture, Technical Assistance Bureau, Agency for International

Development, under the Plant and Seed Materials PASA (AJ) 2-69.

The initial draft was reviewed by the following officials of


Dr. Francis J. LeBeau, Chief, Rural Development Division,

Office of Technical Development, Supporting Assistance Bureau;

Dr. Samuel C. Litzenberger, Chief, Crop Production Division, Office

of Agriculture, Bureau for Technical Assistance; and Mr. Theodore

V. Tibbutt, Program Manager.

Several copies of the draft were distributed for review among

officials of the Thai Government and of the U. S. Operations Mission

stationed in Thailand.

Particular mention should be made of the con­

tribution made by Dr. Aly Lasheen on the potentialities of expanding

the horticultural industry in Thailand, with emphasis on the Northeast.

Since October 1971, Lasheen has been serving as Horticultural Advisor

of the University of Kentucky-United States Operations Mission, with

headquarters at the Northeast Agricultural Center (NEAC) in Tha Phra,

Khon Khaeng.

Grateful acknowledgment is made of the excellent cooperation

received from a series of leading crop specialists in the U. S.

Department of Agriculture, and from others engaged in private industry

(PP,528_329). Suggestions made by these experts are intended as guide­ lines aimed at further improvement in diversifying the country's

agricultural program.


Statistics on the output of individual crops during 1965-72 were

extracted from Monthly and Situation Reports, submitued by Sam Work,

William von Seggern, Jr., and Guy L. Haviland, Jr., Agricultural

Attaches stationed successively in Bangkok.

These Reports were made

available by the Report Section of Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS)

of the U. S. Department of Agriculture.



Introduction The importance of agricultural diversification as a contributing

factor to the economic growth of less developed countries is generally


This Report reviews the agricultural resources of Thai­

land, aimed at evaluating the progress made in recent years to

increase production of subsistence and industrial crops, through the

expansion of its crop pattern.

It is evident that aided by economic and technical assistance

from external sources, efforts made in Thailand in the last decade

to develop a more progressive, diversified agriculture are showing

evidence of bearing fruit.

Indicative of the appreciable improvement

in the country's agricultural economy is the increase, especially

since 1961, in the production of crops other than rice.

Up to about

1962, two crops alone--rice and rubber---iccounted for more than one­ half of the total value of ex~orts.

Today, other major crops,

particularly corn, cassava, sugarcane, and roselle (kenaf), have

increased in acreage, and production is sufficient to meet domestic

needs, as well as to provide a considerable surplus of each for


As a result, Thailand today is a major producer and one of

the leading exporters of foodstuffs and some industrial commodities

in Asia.

It ranks first in the world in the production of roselle

fiber, second in rice, third in rubber, fourth in corn, a major source

of cassava, and a leader in the export of castorbean.





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In preparing this report the objectives stressed were:

(1) To

evaluate the production of subsistence and industrial crops now

grown in Thailand, in order to determine whether the output of a

particular crop is sufficient or deficient in relation to domestic

requirements. germplasm

(2) To evaluate in what areas there is a need for

of existing major and minor crops, aimed at further improve­

ment of the diversification program. (3) To recommend for field trials

crops presently grown only on a minor scale or in need of improvement

through the introduction of improved breeding stock, and others not

hitherto grown, but potentially suitable, in Thailand, that should

result in the expansion of the country's food resources and thereby

contribute to the improvement of nutrition.


The fundamental component of the economy of Thailand is agriculture.

More than 80 percent of the population is engaged in the production and

processing of food and industrial crops; in extracting timber and

other forest products; and in fishing.

Throughout its recorded history,

the Kingdom has been practically self-sufficient from the standpoint of

suaple foods, and periods of famine in any particular area are of rare


Even today, only about 7 percent of the country's food

requirements are imported.

These are mostly luxury items, consumed in

Bangkok and other populated centers.

Up to the middle of the past century Thailand had a closed, almost

a monocultural economy, with rice as the dominant subsistence crop.

Other foodstuffs, such as vegetables, fruits, corn, sugarcane, and




4 3


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cassava were traditional crops, grown as supplements, almost solely

for domestic consumption.

The development of international trade,

in the late nineteenth century, provided the stimulus for expanded

rice production.

During that period the increased output of this

commodity was sufficient for domestic requirements, as well as to

provide a surplus to meet the growing demand for Thai rice in the

world market.

Soon after World War II the Thai government realized the un­ desirability of overdependence on a single crop (rice), subject to

the vagaries of weather, reduced production caused by floods or

drought, damage by insect pests and diseases, and fluctuations in price

and demand for the commodity in world markets.

It became aware of the

necessity to increase the production of foodstuffs other than rice,

to meet the needs of a growing population, and to improve nutrition.

It was increasingly evident that agricultural development should

at least accompany, if not precede, nutritional development.


only was it necessary to increase fruit and fiber production for

domestic use and for export, but also to absorb under employment, to

develop local consumption of both farm and industrial products and

to promote farm welfare as a matter of social and political stability.

A formal agronomic improvement program was launched in 1950, under

the joint sponsorship of the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and the


States Operations Mission (USOM).

The National Economic

Development Board (NEDB) was established to formulate agriuultural and

other programs.

The Board launched its first Economic Development Plan



F-_ 0%­ -. -.

.. .

- M--

Figure 3. Man-made canals were formerly the principal means of transportation in the Central Plain° In recent year3 highways have been built (Fig. 26), and feeder roads improved.

in 1961, to be effective through 1966.

As a result, during 1961

to 1966, according to Work (Fr.Agric. 6(22), 1968), farm output increased 40 percent.

Thailand completed its second Economic Development Plan in

December 1971.

The target set by the Thai government

period called for an increase of 4.7 percent annuall production by 1972. were:

the second

:otal farm

Other objcctives of the NEDB agricultural plan

the continuation of research in crop production, including the

development of improved varieties of such crops as rice and corn; in­ creased extension activities; to reduce the population concentration

in the agricultural sector from 81.6 percent in 1960 to 75.6 percent

in 1971; an increased use of fertilizers; the construction of

highways and improvement of feeder roads, to facilitate transport and

distribution of commodities to and from distant areas; water impound­ ment projects to expand the area under irrigation; and health

programs to eradicate malaria and other diseases.

In dtveloping

these projects, some of which have been completed, Thailand has been

aided by technical expertise and economic assistance contributed by

the United States Government, through the Agency for International

Development (AID), private American organizations, such as the

Rockefeller and Ford Foundations,

Food and Agricultural Organization

(FAO) of the United Nations, to some degree by member countries of the

Colombo Plan, and other external agencies.

All these have contributed

greatiy to the improvement of Thailand's economy which, today, is

regarded as one of the most dynamic and diversified in continental


The third six-year Plan commenced on January 1972 and will ter­

minate in December 1977.


Table 1

Selected Agricultural Crops of Thailand

Output in 1962


Area harvested

000 rail/

All rice

Sugar cane


Corn, maize


37,228 433 504 1,636 598

Production metric tons

Yield Kg?/ per rai

9,252,696 1,689,588 945,363 507,041 313,5603/

249 3,902 1,876 269 524!/





99,21S_/ 83,2176/

385 4877/ 116











20,066 37,8868_/















16,973 14,669 5,953 133 NA

69 107 53 68 67





1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ S/ 6/

rai = 0.395 acre

1 kilo = 2.2 lbs.

in thousand bunches bunches per rai dried leaf 000 pineapples 7/ fruits per rai 8/ fresh and dried 9/ dried only


N.S.O. Census of Agriculture: 1963.



84 105 130



Fruit Trees Mulberry (silk) Peanuts Soybeans Tea


" aIA AN2€ 0 goO


NOHTHEAsTr Corn Kenaf (fiber) (silk)




[ s OU u




:'ruit Trees Mangrove repper


Castor Bean CorT.

Fruits Suga Cane Vegetables

C EEvrre Rsifed






Cassava Mangrove






FEvergreen Forests i, Deciduous Forests Teak Forests Rice Areas Plantations Coconut Plantations

~Rubber I I

0 0


5,0 ,70 ,?o ,?o 50

10'a 1,0 20o


,710 l:



Figure 4.

Distribution of major and some minor crops grown in Thailand.


Introduced'Crops. Although Thailand is rkch in natural resources,

including forest products and fisheries, most of the subsistence and

industrial crops now grown commercially have been introduced from

other tropical regions.

For example, a series of economic plants,

native to the Western Hemisphere,

have long been cultivated as

sources of food for local consumption. Today, some of these constitute

the main components of the Kingdom's agricultural economy. These

include: corn or maize, sugarcane, cassava or manioc, peanut, pineapple,

pulses, In addition to tobacco, roselle and jute.

Fruit trees, of

tropical American origin, include sapodilla, custard apple and closely

related species, alligator pear or avocado, and papaya.

Other fruit

trees, indigenous to India and other parts of Asia, such as mango and

tamarind, are found in almost every village and hamlet throughout the

country, to supplement the wealth of fruit bearing species indigenous

to Thailand. Thai markets in the interior display a wide assortment

of fruits and vegetables throughout the year, and the famed "floating

market" and other markets in the Bangkok area offer an outstanding display of tropical fruits. Native to the forests of the Amazon basin, the Para rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) has prospered in the exotic environment of Thailand as elsewhere in Southeast Asia (Fig.9


Seedlings of this

tree, grown at Kew Botanical Gardens, were introduced about 100 years ago into Ceylon, Malaysia and Indonesia, and later into Thailand. These were the nucleus for the development of high yielding strains. For decades these improved rubber trees, established in large planta­ tions in Southeast Asia, have been continuously the world's principal



Figure 5. Raintree (Pithecellobium saman), native to northern South America, is propagated in an ornamental and host for lac-producing scale-insect. Phrae School of Forestry.

Thailand as

source of this important commodity. aman,

The rain tree (Pithecelloblum

native to northern South America, is grown in upper Thailand

as a shade tree (Fig. 5 ), and especially as host for a lac-secreting

scale insect.

Other introduced tropical American trees, frequently

seen along avenues in Thailand, are the Central American mahogany

(Swietenia macrophXlla) and Indian almond

Princaipal Crops.

(Terminalia catap).

Thailand produces mainly a nonglutinous rice,

although considerable quantities of glutinous rice are also grown,

largely in the Northeast.

Production increased from 7.0 million tons

of rough rice in 1958/59 to 13.4 million tons in 1969/70.

While rice

yields have been increasing because of irrigation, flood control, and

other improved cultivation techniques, the annual increase in paddy

output during recent years has not kept pace with population growth.

In addition to irrigation and flood control, the Thai government is

attempting to increase yields through use of better seed, application

of fertilizers, and the introduction of labor-saving machinery

suitable for small farms.

A total of 18.8 million acres of rice were

planted in 1969/70.

Thailand is one of the world's largest rice exporters, but

exports have declined in recent years.

Exports of 986,352 tons of

rice in 1969 were 3.5% less than in 1968, and the value of rice ex­ ports decreased exports.

to about $154 million, equivalent to 22% of total

Principal buyers of Thai rice are India, Malaysia, Singapore,

Hong Kong and Japan.


Table 2 Thailand Increase of crop production during 1960 to 1969





1969 (Prelim.)

- - - 1,000 tons - - -

Rice, paddy Corn

9,058 544

11,769 858

13,500 1,122

13,410 1,700



2, 111



Sugarcane Pulses Tobacco Cotton Cottonseed Kenaf

5,382 60 28 15 30 181

4,733 116 30

16 32 212

3,827 132 36 30 59 661







Jute Soybeans Peanuts, in shell Sesame seed Castor beans Rubber Copra

6 26



9 30

152 19 43 172 189

133 16 53 198 208

220 20 42

218 194

200 20 40

289 218

Aggregates of Production -----Total Agriculture Total Food



Million Dollars at Constant Prices 798.3 644.6

643.9 509.4


962.4 741.7



Thailand produces about 9% of the world supply of natural rubber,

and is the third largest producer, preceded by Malaysia and Indonesia.

Maximum annual pre-War II production was about 50,000 tons.


tion has been increasing steadily, nearly doubling in the past decade,

rising from 170,000 tons in 1960 to an estimated 285,000 tons in 1969.

Rubber is the second most important export commodity, with ex­ port earnings of about $125 million in 1969,constituting 187 of total

Thai exports. Primary markets for Thai rubber are Japan, Singapore,

the United States, United Kingdom, and Italy.

Rubber is grown mostly

on small holdings, chiefly in the southern part of the Peninsula by

Thai and ethnic Chinese producers.

In 1965 the area planted to rubber

was about 1,330,000 acres of which 1,100,000 acres were tappable.


trees were overage while others, under a replanting program, were not

yet productive.

About 80% of the acreage is composed of small holdings

of about five acres in size. Estates of over 100 acres represent no

more than 10 percent of the total.

In recent years corn (maize), grown mainly for export, has become

one of Thailand's major crops and an important source of foreign ex­ change earnings.

Its rise in importance has been due largely to the

successful adaptation of improved varieties, and to increasingly

favorable export markets. Annual output has been expanded to a record

high production of 1.7 million tons (estimated) in 1969, compared with

less than 10,000 tons before World War II. amounted to 1.5 million tons,valued


Exports of corn in 1969

at about $80

million) and comprised

12% of the total value of Thai export&.

Principal markets are Japan,

Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong.

Thailand's year-round growing season permits two crops a year,

the first planted in April and May, and the second in August and


Cassava (tapioca), first introduced as a secondary crop planted

between rows of rubber trees, has become one of Thailand's important

foreign exchange earners. to 20% tapioca flour.

Average crop yields are 20% starch and 18

Most of the approximately 250-300 tapioca

mills are located in crop areas where they are operated as small


In addition, there are a few modern factories of moderate

size capable of producing about 50 tons of high quality flour daily.

The production and export of tapioca products have been increasing

substantially. tons in 1968.

Exports of tapioca products amounted to over 888,000

Foreign exchange earnings of about $42 million from

tapioca exports in 1969 represented 6% of total export


Principal buyers are the United States, West Germany, and Netherlands.

Thailand is self-sufficient in sugar production and since 1958

has been producing for export. unrefined centrifugal sugar.

In 1968 it exported 14,726 tons of

Responding to increased domestic demand

and higher world prices, output of sugarcane reached 5,074,000 tons in

1964, but fell to 3,800,000 tons in 1966, and rebounded to an estimated

5,064,000 tons in 1969. 293,000 tons in 1968.

Mill output from sugarcane was ectimated at

About 150,000 tons of noncentrifugal sugar is

also produced annually from sugarcane, and to some extent from palm


and coconut trees. Most of this, is consumed domestically.

There are about 30 sugar mills, of which 15 are major factories

producing commercially, and 300 to 400 juice extraction plants.


National Economic Development Board is currently taking steps to place

the Thai sugar industry on a healthier basis.

Considerations include

modernization of mills, closure or merger of the least efficient, im­ proved agronomic practices, and gearing cane production to actual

market demand.

The bulk of raw tobacco used in the domestic cigarette industry

is imported from the United States and other countries. tobacco of the following types is grown locally:

However, some

flue-cured, a

Virginia type of leaf; burley, a darker, sun-dried native leaf; and

a Turkish tobacco introduced in recent years for blending.


in the 1967/68 crop year amounted to 8,910 tons of flue-cured


weight), 535 tons of burley, and 170 tons of Turkish. In

addition, an unknown quantity of native sundried tobacco, possibly

amounting to 20,000 tons,is produced by farmers for their own or other

local use.

In 1968

Thailand's imports of tobacco leaf were 11,647 tons, and

exports amounted to 9,866 tons.

The government-owned Thai Tobacco

Monopoly, sole producer of cigarettes and cigars, procures tobacco

for its factories from its own plantations in the North and Northuast,

and also from private planters and processors, to whom it gives financial

assi.tance for the purchase of fertilizers and other production needs.

Fisheries are important in the economic life of Thailand as the

principal source of protein food, and as source of employment.



bulk of Thai fishing is noncommercial.

Farmers supplement their rice

and fruit diet with fish found in the rivers, canals, ponds, and

flooded paddy fields which occur throughout the country.

Bangkok is

the center of the commercial fishing industry which processes the

marine catch from the Gulf of Siam and the Indian Ocean and a variety

of fresh water fish from nearby inland provinces.

The fishing industry contributed an estimated 2.6% to the total

gross national product in 1967 with a catch valued at $140 million.

Salt water fish catch in 1967 reached 762,000 tons and commercial fresh

water catch 85,000 tons.

Nonconnercial or private catches add several

thousand tons annually to total production.

Exports of fish and fish

products in 1968 totaled 18,885 tons valued at $15.8 million. This

was more than double the value of fish exports in 1965.

The percen­

tage of catch lost through lack of refrigeration and inadequate

transportation was estimated at 25%.

In 1968 Thailand had almost 1,000 plants which processed fishery


Their output included 74,000 tons of salted and dried

fish, 21,000 tons of smoked fish, 19,000 tons of fish in brine,

12,000 tons of fish paste and shrimp paste, 20,800 tons of dried

shrimp, and 162,000 tons of fishmeal.

About 65 million acres, or 51.5% of total land area, are in

forests or grazing land.

The moist evergreen rain forests of the

Peninsula and Khorat Plateau and the monsoon forests in the North con­ tain a variety of commercially valuable timbers, gums and resins, as

well as some fruits.

While all of the forest area is potentially


productive, almost one-half is not accessible because of difficult

terrain, and lack of access roads.

Of the large quantities of

timber cut annually for domestic use and export, teak and yang

(valuable also for its resin) are of major importance.


species of timber and bamboo are used extensively as building

materials, and charcoal and firewood are common fuels. Other

forest products include gums, resins, yang oil, rattan, pulpwood,

seedlac and sticklac.

To meet the increasing domestic demand for

forest products and to supply the export market, forest reserves

have been seriously overcut.

As a result, the Thai Government is

currently restricting felling not only of teak but also of other


The contribution of forestry to the gross national product has

been gradually declining and accounted for only 2.4% of GNP in 196T,

compared with 4.2% in 1955.

Teak cutting, which reached a peak

of 359,000 cubic meters in 1954, amounted to an estimated 364,000

cubic meters in 1969.

Output of yang (Dlpterocatpus alatus)

increased in recent years--from 386,000 cubic meters in 1955

to an estimated 537,000 cubic meters in 1969-but was expected to

decline once the readily accessible trees were fully exploited.


While teak is still the most important forest product in

terms of foreign exchange earnings, exports have fallen sharply.

During 1960 to 1968 they dropped from 100,938 cubic meters


valued at $17.1 million, to 29,447 cubic meters valued at $8.1 million.

Major buyers in 1968 were the United States, the United Kingdom and


The sticklac industry, located principally in the North and

Northeast, has considerable potential for expansion if proper at­ tention is paid to quality standards for export.

Most of Thailand's

exportF of seedlac and sticklac are shipped to the United States,

and Thailand is a major supplier of this country's requirements.

Nearly all forest land is government owned and has the status

of public-owned domain.

Formerly, teak was extracted by private

concessionaires but teak extraction has been nationalized in


Since 1960, all cutting has been done by or under the

supervision of the Forest Industries Organization (FIO), a Thai

Government agency, in cooperation with the Royal Forest Department.

Tin is by far Thailand's most important mineral, although other

metals and minerals are becoming increasingly significant.


the exception of dredging for tin, geological and mining technology

has been applied to Thailand's mineral resources only within the last

20 years.

Appreciable progress has been made in some directions but

has scarcely begun in others. There are indications that the value

of mining probably could be increased considerably above its current

2% contribution to the GNP.


The need to diversify exports was emphasized in the Bangkok

Post (December 10, 1971): "A 55 million-baht decrease in export

prices for principal Thai exports is a clear indicator that the

country must diversify its exports.-

and soon.

Export prices of

rice, rubber, maize, tapioca, kenaf, tin, shrimps, tobacco and

teak fell by one percent in June 1971 over the same period last


Rice faced a slackening in demand because of increase in

local production and a decrease in foreign lands.

As for rubber,

the industrial and speculative demand declined while world production


A shortage of tapioca roots meant less of that commodity

and of all the principal exports only maize and teak did substan­ tially better than last year.

"With the demand for key Thai commodities fluctuating, there

is no guarantee that the country's national income will be increased.

The formula to solve this can be summed up in one word--diversity.

With the main raw materials being primary products, it would be

rather difficult for the Kingdom to develop a heavy industrial


A better approach might be to place greater emphasis on

light industry connected to the agricultural products grown here.

"An agro-industry (with primary concentration on cereal packaging

and canned food processing) wo:id no doubt solve the declining export

price dilemna which we face.

At the moment, there are 38 canning plants

throughout the country, but only 12 are modern manufacturing plants

and nine of the dozen can only pineapples.

There are many other good

prospects for a comprehensive food processing industry, providing

proper regulations to control food packaging and canning standards


Table 3


Indices of Per Capita Agricultural Production and



Per capita agricultural production (1952-54 = 100)

Indices of population

(1953 = 100)



















Population estimate: I.1/ Source:

1964 = 30.5 million

USDA, FRS - Foreign 116, Feb. 1965


are met.

Already, the United States Food and Drug Administration

has prohibited certain Thai canned goods on the grounds that the

products deviate from standards."

With a population currently estimated to range between 35.5 and

36.5 millions, and with an annual growth rate of 3.2 percent, it is

anticipated that by 1980 Thailand will have approximately 50 million

inhabitants, and close to 80 millions by the end of this century.

Despite the appreciable success achieved during the past decade or

two in crop diversification, resulting in larger production of

foodstuffs, the steadily increasing growth in population will

require a more intensive use of the country's agricultural resources,

and will necessitate, through the introduction of germplasm of

improved strains, the further expansion of the crop pattern to

increase the yield of existing crops, as well as of new crops.



Current Agricultural Crops

An evaluation of Production

Part I


RICE (Oryza sativa).-- Traditionally, rice is the major crop of

Thailand, providing 75 to 80 percent of the total caloric intake in

the diet, and formerly accounted for about one-third of the value of

all exports.

The overwhelming importance of rice in the Thai economy

is indicated by the fact that it is grown almost throughout the


Rice constitutes not only the staple food of the Thai people,

but it is also the basic foundation of a large portion of the indus­ trial activities.

This is demonstrated by the fact that a few years

ago, of the total number of factories registered, more than one-half

were mechanized rice-mills.

For many years Thailand, Burma and the

former Indochina, were the principal rice-surplus areas of the world.

But as the result of upheaval in recent years in Southeast Asia,

Thailand emerged as the leading rice exporting nation in Asia, and

second only to the United States in the world market.

Its fertile

Central Plain, in particular, with generally available water supplies,

a favorable climate, and lack of population pressure on land resources,

are factors that have long sustained Thailand as an important rice


In 1949 the Thai Ministry of Agriculture launched an extensive pro­ gram to increase the quantity and quality of rice crop.

Acting upon the

advice of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, the Thai government engaged

the services of Dr. H. H. Love, of Cornell University, as Rice Breeding Ad­ visor, and Dr. R. L. Pendleton, of Johns Hopkins University, a Specialist

in tropical soils and long-time resident of Thailand, to aid in the rice

breeding and production project. These renowned specialists were responsible


"film 4

46 .









Figure 6. About 13% of Thailand's land area is propagated to rice. ion metric tons. Central plain.

Current production is about 13 mill­

in large measure for the considerably increased production of rice in

Thailand in recent years. The work of plant improvement proceeded along

three general lines:

(1) evaluation to determine the best available

varieties for given situations; (2) individual head or plant selection

to obtain high yielding lines of good quality; and (3) cross-breeding

or hybridization, followed by selection to produce improved strains with

desirable characteristics.

In 1950 a large-scale selection program was begun. Field officers

sent in about 120,000 selections from 978 fields in 35 different localities.

Of these, 114,000 selections were planted directly, instead of transplanting

at the main experiment station.

Seeds from selected rows were gathered

each year to continue the studies.

In this manner, about 90,000 new head

selections were made in Thailand in 1952, and grown in experimental plots

in 1953.

Thailand is one of the participating countries in the international

rice hybridization program, sponsored by the Food and Agricultural Organiza­ tion of the United Nations.

In 1950 4 varieties were suDlied to the

Central Research Institute at Cuttock, India, and a number of other

varieties were supplied during the following years. were sent back for planting.

Thousands of crossings

Experience showed that the japonica type

grew better in northern Thailand than in the Central Plain, so that most

of the seeds were planted in the Chiang Mai area. Variety evaluation and

selection were continued along with the hybridization phase of the program.

It was expected that after a few years of investigation some new highly


productive strains of good quality rice would be made available to Thai


Several generations of plants were grown and all varieties and

selections were thoroughly tested before recommendations were made.

Four principal rice-growing areas are recognized:

(a) The Central

or Bangkok Plain, which is the largest pa11 area, drained by the Chao

Phraya river and its tributaries, and prodices about one-half of the total

rice production.

(b) The Khorat, or Northeast Plateau, is the second

largest rice-producing area, with about 30 percent of the total rice crop,

where padi areas are found in the wide basins of the Mun and Chi rivers,

Unlike the

and in the river valleys emptying directly into the Mekong.

compact rice-producing Central Plain, the padi region of the Northeast

Plateau is much fragmented and widely dispersed, interrupted by stands of

Dipterocarp forest, bamboo brakes, thorn forest and stretches of savanna.

(c) The Northern valleys and plains produce about 8 percent of the total


The Ping river basin, in the region of Chiang Mai and La/nnhuo,

is the principal area. Nan and Mae Hongson.

Other padi regions -re Chiengdao, Lampang, Phrae,

There the small, but dependable, volume of water for

irrigation flowing from the surrounding mountains permits rice cultivation

and ensures a more certain crop* (d) The southern Peninsula.

In December 1969, the Thai Ministry of Agriculture accepted officially

3 new improved varieties of rice to be grown mainly for export, but not for

domestic consumption.

These are:

RDI and RD3, nonglutinous, long-grcin

types, with 120-130 day maturity, have a stiff straw, highly responsive

to fertilizer, and resistant to pests and diseases, especially yellow­ orange leaf virus "tungro"; and RD2, a glutinous variety.


It was

intended to plant the three strains on 4,800 acres of paddy land, as part

of a project sponsored by the Department of Agricult re's Extension


About 20 tons, produced in 1969 for planting, were estimated

to yield about 600 tons of grain for use on 40,000 acres during 1970.

It is reported that gall midge causes up to 50 percent damage in RDI.

Table 4 Thailand:

Production of Milled Rice 1964-1970




Available for

domestic use

--- 1,000 tons -­





















1969 (prelim.)




1970 (est.)




-!Productionof preceding year.


Compiled from U. S. Agricultural Attache's Reports.


The improvement of rice strains and increased production achieved

in recent years, may be ascribed to the considerable technical assistance

Thailand has received from the Rockefeller Foundation.

Rice exports remained at the 1 million level during 1968 to 1970,

well below the 1.4 to 1.9 million tons during 1964 to 1967.

The value

of rice exports also declined about 20 percent because of falling prices.

One reason for this is that the traditional markets, such as the Philippines

and Malaysia, increased their own domestic supplies and bought less rice

from Thailand, while Indonesia received rice under the U.S. P1 480 program.

In the face of increasing production and declining exports, rice available

for domestic use in Thailand has increased more rapidly than population.

In recent years more rice has been available for non-food uses, and is now

being utilized for hog feed and poultry production, and in the manufacture

of alcohol.

A new technique in rice farming is being adopted by the Rice Depart­ ment of the Ministry of Agriculture.

This is termed "block demonstration,"

and is on a voluntary cooperative basis.

In 1969 there were 167 such

blocks, comprising a total of 29,200 acres. By pooling the smallholdings,

each unit is upwards of 200 acres in area, and the use of mechanical

equipment and modern techniques is made feasible.

Rice output on these blocks

has increased by 60 percent and this system will undoubtedly become more


But the limiting factor at present is lack of managers.


CPA Ch, mpae MuaiKhoLkaen MHI Pima.

N 0oRTeH



Sakolnakorn bon,ajathAw

370,000 ha


2,135 k%

PAN Qdengral SPT San patong






BIO Bangkhan KIW Klong Inang RST RangTit

PS Paitan

Figure 7.




Location of rice experiment stations in Thailand,


C. Roy Adair (p. 328)

makes the following recommendations:

To combat orange-leaf virus ("tungro"),

the introduction of germ­

plasm of varieties resistant to this disease should be included and

used in the rice program. Although blast has not been, up to now, a serious problem in

Thailand, the growing use of fertilizer has increased the prevalence of this disease.

Material should be used in a breeding program to

develop varieties resistant to blast and which are adaptable to


In recent years germplasm of rice varieties growing spontaneously,

and resistant to gall-midge, was collected in Assam. This material was

tested at an agricultural substation in Hyderabad, India. Most of this

breeding stock has been sent to IRRI at Los Banos, Philippines, and

is presumably available for distribution.

It is important that the good--cooking quality of present Thai

varieties, esteemed in commerce, should be maintained in the breeding

program, in order to meet export requirements.

After domestic needs, for

human consumption aud for export, have been met, excess output could be

used for animal feed.

Ben R. Jackson, Agronomist and Plant Breeder, on the staff of

the Rockefeller Foundation, has made significant progress in breeding

high-quality, disease- and insect-resistant varieties.

Rice breeding

research should be coordinated with present programs.

The adoption of these recommendations should lead to increased

production, and improvement in the quality of Thai rice.


Breeding objectives proposed for the rice breeding program in the

main regions of Thailand are:


1. Nonsensitive to photoperiodism


Glutinous and nonglutinous grain types


120 to 130 day maturity


Resistance to:

(a) Gall midge

(b) Stem borer

(c) Blast


Short, stiff-straw to give resistance to lodging


Highly responsive to fertilizer


Tungro resistance



Nonsensitive to photoperiodism


Glutinous and nonglutinous grain types


110 to 120 day maturity


Resistance to:

(a) Gall midge

(b) Stem borer

(c) Blast


5. Short, stiff straw

6. Highly responsive to fertilizer

7. Tungro resistance

Central (Nonfloating):

1. Sensitive and nonsensitive types to photoperiodism

2. Plant height ranging from:

Short (100 cm) to intermediate (130 cm)

3. Long, slender, nonglutinous grain with clear texture

4. Maturity insensitive forms (120 to 140 days)

5. Resistance to:

(a) Yellow-orange leaf virus

(b) Blast

c) Bacterial leaf blight

d) Stem borer

6. High response to fertilizer

Central (Floating):

1. Sensitive to photoperiodism

2. Long, slender, nonglutinous grain with clear texture

3. Resistance to:

(a) Yellow-orange leaf virus

(b) Blast

(c) Bacterial leaf blight

(d) Stem borer



1. Non-sensitive to photoperiodism

2. Maturity- 140 to 160 days after seeding

3. Non-glutinous, long, slender seed with clear grain texture

4. Stiff-straw, short to intermediate in height

5. Resistance to:

(a) Blast

(b) Stem borer

(c) Baterial leaf blight (d) Y ellow-orange leaf virus

(e) False smut

6. Highly responsive to fertilizer

The above objectives are not intended to cover all of the

problems needing attention in Thailand.

Rather they present

an initial attempt to define some of the more important areas of

breeding research.

Furthermore, these should be flexible and

subject to the addition of new objectives or deletion of old ones

as new threats arise to affect the rice crop.

It is not anti­

cipated that all of the objectives will be attained in a single


However, they are considered realistic and the

addition of even one or two superior characteristics (such as virus

and stem borer resistance in the Central Plain) into the present

varieties could result in higher yields.

High yield was not

listed in the above objectives since it is generally understood that good

stable production should result by attaining the other ovjectives­


The following appeared in the December 21, 1971 issue of the Bangkok


"Harvest is on and in the golden fields in the North where farmers

aite reaping their paddies with joy.

The output this year is good and

planters look forward to turn over the soil soon to start growing

cash crops before the new paddy planting season sets in. the paddy output is good,

Not only

the outlook for other crops, thanks to

the industrious planters in the cool North, also is bright.


Mae Sarieng to Chiang Dao and from Phrae to Phan fields of green

tobacco and groundnut, mungbean and matpe soybean and sorghum can be


"The high output of rice this year is healthy sign for trade

next year.

Up to the second half of December slightly more than

1.48 million tons of rice have been exported which is about 34

per cent higher than the year before.

It is expected that the level

of export will be higher next year.

"But the price and volume of rice export depends on the marketing

system of the people in control.

During recent years, we have been

able to sell more rice but at lower prices.

Also on the internal

front the farmers are facing a drop in prices.

Concern is being

felt in some circles that the guaranteed floor prices offered by the

Ministry of Economic Affairs will not benefit farmers because the

fund for this project is limited and, as usual, middlemen will reap

the profits. Planters have been uraed to grow all these agricultural products and they should be protected and fetch reasonable prices for what they have produced."


In December 1971, Charles L. Moore)in charge of corn investi­ gations for the Rockefeller Foundation team in Thailand, reported as

follows on the country's rice program:

"The Inter-Asian Corn Improvement Program (IACP) began a wide­ scale testing program in 1969.

During that year a total of 28

varieties and hybrids from eight countries was organized into

yield trials and distributed to various countries.

Thirty sets of

trials were sent on request to some 13 Asian countries, including

South Vietnam.

Twelve of the 28 entries were hybrids.

"In 1970, uniform regional yield testing continued throughout

the region.

Two sets of trials were formed for different adaptive

zones and distributed.

In the first trial eight varieties and

hybrids from three countries were included and 28 sets of seeds were

distributed to 14 countries. Trial two consisted of 19 entries

(3 hybrids, 16 O.P. varieties) from five countries, including


Data were again compiled and distributed in a summary


"The yield testing program was continued in 1971 in a manner

similar to the 1970 program.

Eleven entries (7 0.P. varieties, 4 hybrids)

from six countries formed trial #1,and 19 sets of seed were sent to


10 countries.

Twenty entries (2 hybrids) from five countries were

organized into trial #2,and 30 sets of seed were sent to 14 countries

(including Vietnam).

"The countries that are growing the IACP regional yield trials

at present are Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, THAILAND,

Vietnam, Ceylon, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan, and Indonesia

in Asiapplus U.A.R. in Africa, CIMMYT in Mexico, CIAT in Colombia.

The trials contain both hybrids and varieties.

Parent stocks of all

entries are available to cooperators in the region.

The trials are

formed at the annual workshop by delegates from the various country


"In addition to the above testing activity, two additional yield

trials were formed to service the Northern India, Nepal, Afghanistan,

and Pakistan region in 1971.

One set of varieties was formed in Pakistan

and one set in India (Pantnagar) for distribution to this region.

"Downy mildew nurseries have been grown internationally for the

past three years.

Countries that have contributed entries and/or

grown nurseries include THAILAND, Indonesia, India, Nepal, Philippines,

and Taiwan in Asia,plus Israel, Texas, Mexico, and Nigeria outside the


A yield trial of "downy mildew resistant varieties" was grown

in 1971 in the countries mentioned in Asia.

"In 1971 a SEARCA program began testing high protein crops

throughout Southeast Asia.

This program in maize was led by Dr. V. R.

Carangal from UPCA, Los Bailos, Philippines.


Ten varieties from three

countries (Philippines, THAILAND, and Indonesia) were tested. THAILAND,

Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Malaysia are cooperating

in this program.

This trial will be expanded to include all of Asia

in 1972.

"Regarding cooperation with Vietnam, the program has received

several lots of seed from various sources.

From THAILAND we have

provided two sets of the IACP uniform yield trial #2 each year for the

past three years.

In 1971 we supplied several varieties for testing on

at least three other occasions.

One of the base populations (THAILAND

Composite) that is being used in Vietnam's breeding program originated

from 16 varieties supplied in 1968. We have been and hope to continue

cooperating with the Vietnam maize program.

"Another point that may be useful to comment upon is the testing

of commercial (private) hybrids in THAILAND.

Our policy has been to

offer the service of testing to private organizations on a limited


Not only does this provide some useful information to potential

seed companies in the region but it also provides local staff with

advance information on the performance of hybrids that may be marketed

at some future date.

Companies that have submitted hybrids in the

past have been Pioneer, DeKalb, McNair, Funk Bros., Agroceres (IBEC),

Cargill, and Northrup-King.

The hybrids from these companies are grown

in competitive trials in 1-3 locations depending upon local resources.

Local checks are included and complete data for the trial are sent to all

companies that submitted entries and are published in the Thailand

annual report."


CORN or MAIZE (Zea mays) is one of the most dramatic crops that

has developed since World War II to transform the country's economy.

According to Pendleton (1962), it was introduced into Thailand in the

mid-sixteenth century, and up to about 1950 was grown mainly for

local consumption.

Today, Thailand is the only significant exporter of

corn in Asia, supplying four-fifths of the corn exports of that


During the period from 1950 to 1970, corn production increased

from 27,000 to 1,900,000 m. tons.

This upsurge may be attributed, in

part, to the technical assistance rendered by the Rockefeller

Foundation, and to the Thai government's efforts in promoting corn

as an export commodity.

Corn is still consumed only in limited

quantities within the country, and in recent years from 90 to 95

percent of production is exported.

In 1924, Prince Siddiporn introduced several varieties of dent

corn to be grown for livestock feed.

Natural crosses between these

and earlier varieties resulted in several improved strains, known

collectively as Pakchong dent.

In 1950, a series of varieties from

the United States and Indonesia was introduced for the agronomic

development program, sponsored jointly by the Thai Ministry of

Agriculture and the United States Operations Mission (USOM).


these, the Guatemalan Tequisate golden flint responded best under

Thai conditions.

Thailand's year-round growing season permits two crops annually,

the first planted in April and May and the second crop in August and


Over 80 percent is grown in the North and Northeast.




0 tn

1,000 tons


5,000 tons


10,000 tons


50,000 tons

Figure 8. Corn production by provinces in 1962. adopted from Sato's "Field Crops in Thailand.")


(Figs. 8,10,13,

Corn is grown throughout the Kingdom.

The principal areas, however,

are concentrated in the upland sectLon of the country, where soils are

relatively fertile and transportation possible to Bangkok, with its

deep-water harbor.

Corn areas may be classified as follows;

1. Upland area where forests have been cleared, mostly

in the Central Plain.


Mountain areas and foothills in the North, Northeast,

and South.

3. Along river banks, mostly in the North.


Upland rice fields, scattered throughout the country.

The crop is produced commercially in the Central Region, in a

block corresponding to the junction of the Central, North, east regions. Saraburi,

and North­

This area includes the Provinces of Lopburi and

in the Central Region;

Phetchabun and Nakhon Sawan,

North; and Nakhon Ratchasima, in the Northeast.

in the

Corn grown around

Bangkok,and other populated centers, is frequently planted as a garden

crop for fresh consumption.

Most of the corn grown at present in the

Northeast is consumed as a vegetable.

However, production of field

corn has increased in freshly cleared areas around Khon Kaen,

Chalyapoon, Loei, and Srisaket.

During 1950 to 1954,

the average annual production was 45,000

tons. In 1955, it increased to 68,000 M.T.

Present corn production

is sufficient to meet domestic needs, with a considerable surplus

available each year for export.

In 1969, output reached 1,700,000

tons, of which 1,476,000 tons were exported; and in 1970, estimates


were placed at 1,900,000 tons, with exports of 1,550,000 tons, mainly to

Japan and Taiwan, and smaller quantities shipped to Okinawa,

Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Improved strains are needed to support broader adaptation, better

nutrition, especially protein and amino acid balance, resistance to

stem borer and ear worm, army worm, and other diseases, such as rusts,

mildew and leaf blight.

The following comments are made by George F. Sprague (Q. 329 ) 'The development of maize in Thailand as an export crop is based largely

on the Guatemalan variety, Tequisate Golden Yellow.

This variety was

introduced in the early 1940's and was well adapted to the lowland areas,

With the development of the Southeast Asia maize program in the 1960's

it became apparent that the variety Tequisate provided too narrow a

genetic base for an effective breeding program. were made and evaluated. the Caribbean area. or developed locally.

Extensive introductions

The types showing the most promise are from

Several composites have been introduced from Mexico

Various types of recurrent selection have been initi­

ated and the 1970 report indicates substantial progress is being made."

Insect and disease problems are severe.

Ratings based on natural

infections or infestations are a part of the overall evaluation system.

High yielding types suitable for commercial use should, therefore,

possess a reasonable level of resistance to the more important pests.

Greater emphasis on resistance would be desirable but this would require

greater manpower and scientific inputs than are.currently available.

RUBBER (Hevea brasiliansis). - Thailand produces about 9% of

the world supply of natural rubber and is the third largest producer,

preceded by Malaysia and Indonesia.

Maximum annual prewar production

of rubber was about 50,000 m. tons.

Production has been increasing

steadily and nearly doubled in the past decade, rising from 170,000 m.

tons in 1960 to an estimated 285,000 m. tons in 1969.

Rubber is the second most important export commodity, with export

earnings of about $125 million in 1969 constituting 18% of total Thai


Primary markets for Thai rubber are Japan, Singapore,

United States, United Kingdom, and Italy.

Rubber is grown chiefly on small holdings in the southern part of

Thailand by Thai and ethnic Chinese producers.

In 1965 the area

planted to rubber was about 1,330,000 acres, of which 1,100,000 acres

were tappable.

Some trees were overage while others, under a replanting

program, were not yet productive.

About 80% of the acreage is composed

of small holdings of about five acres in size.

Estates of over 100

acres represent no more than 10 percent of the total.

Para rubber was the first crop to make any substantial reduction

in the former dominance of rice in the Thai economy.

For many years,

export earnings from rubber were second only to rice, but now have

been supplanted by corn.

The Pard rubber tree was introduced from

Malaysia to the southern Province of Trang early in the cr"ntury, and

the first planting is said to have occurred in 1908.


From Trang its





Figure 9. In southern Thailand. in addition to Para rubber, rubber planters grow rice, bananas, coconut,

and 'betel? palm Lreca catechu) .Near Trang, southern Peninsula.

propagation spread southward to the Provinces of Yala and Satul,

adjoining the border of Malaysia, to Narathiwat, northward to Pattani,

and to the region between Thungson and Kantang.

Favorable soil and

climatic conditions, an annual rainfall of 80 inches or more,

availability of unused land, ind an abundance of labor supply favored

the development of the rubber industry in the southern Peninsula.

During the initial years, increase in acreage was extremely


By 1920, only about 60,000 acres had been planted.

In that

year, following the termination of World War I, world rubber prices


Rubber growers ceased to plant trees, and abandoned the

plantings not old enough to be tapped.

But interest revived in 1923,

when the government control of production and export was established

in Malaysia, and the price for the commodity improved.

By 1934,

361,425 acres were under Hevea trees in southern Thailand.

Expansion in rubber acreage developed mainly about 30 years ago.

The high demand following World War II brought an unprecedented

prosperity in southern Thailand, and prices rose rapidly.

During the

Korean War, sheet rubber production rose from 64,000 tons in 1947 to

114,500 tons in 1950.

Most of the plantings have been made by small holders, and there

are no very large plantations comparable to those in Malaysia or


Planting and production are controlled by Thais, some of

Malaysian and Chinese descent, and the small holder continues to be

the strength of the rubber industry.


Of all plantings, at least 80

percent would be in the small-holder category, under 20 acres each,

while about 15 percent would be from 20 to 100 acres, and the remaining

5 percent are over 100 acres in extent.

Large plantings are privately owned and operated.

There is only

one European-owned but Thai-operated plantation, and comparable to

some of the estates in Malaysia.

This plantation, with an area of about

750 acres, is the property of the East Asiatic Company, and is located

in the Province of Chanthaburi, on the Southeast Coast.

In 1962,

rubber plantings of all ages, exceeded 1,080,000 acres on registered

lands, and a conservative estimate of 600,000 acres of unregistered


The rubber industry furnishes employment for well over

200,000 individuals and thc~r dependent families.

Rubber yields in Thailand are relatively low, and the quality of

the product, compared with rubber produced in Malaysia, is inferior.

Aware of the importance of its rubber industry, the Thai government

has supported research in an endeavor to improve techniques, and to

replace old treea with high yielding clones.

A rubber experiment station

is operated by the Thai government neai Haadyai.

There are reasonably

well staffed research institutes at Kor Hong and Thanto.

The Thai

government, also, has its own Rubber Industry Organization at Nabon,

intended as a demonstration center.

Budwood nurseries have been

established in most of the rubber-producing provinces.

Some years ago the Food and Agricultural Organization of the

United Nations gave technical assistance to Thailand, aimed at improving


the methods of tapping and processing rubber.

Later, the International

Bank Mission, in recommending high priority to rubber planting development,

asserted that rubber exports would some day rival and eventually exceed

rice exports.

In 1963, Wallace E. Manis (p.3 2 9) studied the Hevea rubber industry

in Thailand and issued a report on "Rubber Improvement and Applied

Research Project for Thailand."

Prepared for the Ministry of Agriculture

at the request of the United Nations' Special Fund, Manis observed in

his report, in 1962 total -agricultural production was responsible for

36.1 percent of the gross domestic product.

"Two crops alone, rubber

and rice, produce more than half of the total value of foreign exchange


Rubber, unlike rice, is almost entirely exported, and

currently less than 1 percent of the national-production is consumed


The Baht value (20 baht = $1 U.S.) of exported rubber

exceeded that of rice for the first time in 1960.

Thailand has maintained

the third position in world rubber production over the past two decades.

During this period production rose from 97,108 metric tons in 1953 to

258,000 m. tons in 1968.

Current production is about 288,000 tons,

of which only about 5 percent is used domestically.

Rubber planting in Thailand has attained its present position on

its own merit, largely because of its suitability as a small holder

tree crop.

The Thai government is aware of the urgency to improve tapping

technique to upgrade its product.

It might be possible to sustain the

present level of natural rubber production in Thailand for a few years

on the present acreage.

But, this situation cannot last indefinitely.

The small amount of latex that remains in the 30- 50-year-old and almost

obsolete trees will soon become exhausted.

With any drop in rubber

price, tapping of low yielding trees will become uneconomical.


gradual rise in cost of living in the rubber producing areas, where

the standard is higher than in most rural sections in Thailand,

drastically affects the position of the rubber tapper, and thus the

entire economy of the country.

To accommodate the demand for maintain­

ing a sound agricultural economy in the southern region, attuned to

rubber production, part of the solution is to continue the replanting

and to increase new plantings with higher yielding Hevea clonal material,

and cultural methods to bring those selected plants into production

should be of the best.

Until the hostilities which have prevailed in that region in recent

years, there were exceptionally well-managed rubber plantations in

Vietnam and Cambodia which would serve as guidelines in improving the

cultural practices in Thailand.

Also, higher yielding clones could

probably be introduced from the Rubber Research Institute at Kuala

Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Bangkok Bank in a recent

Monthly Review's editorial suggested

the Government should advise owners of old rubber plantations to turn

to other types of crops that give a better yield than rubber.


The bank said that due to the ever-increasing competition from synthetic rubber, natural rubber plantations are being

adversely affected.

The bank warned that it


too late for Thailand to

promote more new plantations because the trend in the price

of natural rubber in world markets is on the decline.


which is

the largest rubber producing country

in the world, for example, has turned many of the rubber

plantations to palm oil over the past 15 years.

The effect

on Thai producers is more serious than on Malaysian producers.

According to The Bangkok Post (Decembet

11, 1971):

The price of natural rubber in Singapore declined in 1971 to a record low for the past 22 years.

At that time the price

of Thai rubber dropped from 8,190 baht per ton to 5,780 baht per ton although the price increased to 6,140 baht per

ton later, but dropped again to 5,130 baht per ton in early


There are indications that rubber production is on the

decline in Thailand, because of the following factors:

(a) competition from bynthetic rubber; (b) trees are becoming

older and furnish low yield;

(c) production costs are high;

and (d) the middleman's share cuts into profit.


ROOT or TUBER CROPS: CASSAVA'(Manhot esciulonta).

Up to about 20 years ago cassava,


the "man sampalang" of the Thai, was considered a supplementary crop, grown only for domestic consumption.

In recent years cassava has

proved profitable, with production now reaching more than 2 million m.


It is said that the plant was introduced by Chinese laborers,

who worked on the construction of the railroad from Bangkok to the southern Peninsula. The most intensive cultivation of cassava or manioc

has been concentrated in two zones of the Southeast Coast and along the

coast in the upper Peninsula.

During 1956 to 1963 the Province of

Chonburi alone accounted for more than 65 percent of the total area

planted, and almost 69 percent of total production. During the same

period the Province of Rayong accounted for almost 16 percent of

the planted area, and 18 percent of the entire output. The reasons for

this gcographic concentration are four-fold:

(a) the Southeast Coast

has a fairly evenly distributed rainfall throughout most of the year,

which cassava requires for good growth; (b) the soil in the Chonburi and

Rayong Provinces appears to be well suited for the propagation of cassava;

(c) to obtain good quality flour, cassava roots must be processed within

about 24 hours after harvesting, and the processing mills in the Chonburi

and Rayong areas are within a short distance from Bangkok; and (d) cassava

flour loses weight because of high moisture content, and has to be trans­ ported quickly to the port.


Cassava (tapioca), first introduced as a secondary or supplementary

crop, has become one of Thailand's important foreign exchange earners*

The average crop yields are 20% starch and 18 to 20% tapioca flour.

Most of the approximately 250-300 tapioca mills are located in the crop

areas where they are operated as small industries.

However, there are

also a few modern factories of moderate size capable of producing about

50 tons of high quality flour daily.

The production and export of tapioca products have been increasing

substantially. in 1968.

Exports of tapioca products amounted to over 388,000 tons

Foreign exchange earnings of about $42 million from tapioca

exports in 1969 represented 60% of total export earnings.


buyers are West Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States.

The growing and processing of this crop are still mainly in the

hands of smallholders.

Some of the larger mills with modern equipment,

however, are now producing part of their supply of roots on company­ owned land, and account for a large part of the flour destined for


Although it requires little care, and gives a favorable yield,

most farmers are reluctant to plant more than a minor part of their

land to this crop, becarse continuous cultivation rapidly depletes soil


Only a fraction, amounting to about 25 percent of the total output,

is consumed domestically.

It forms an important item in the diet in

some regions, such as in the tin mines in southwestern Peninsula and the

island of Phuket, where rice production is not sufficient for local



500 tons

1,000 tons * 05,000 tons • o


I '' !

Figure 10.

• •

I10,000 tons 50,000 tons


1,500,000 tons

Cassava production by provinces in 1962.



The roots are ground into flour and prepared as cakes or candied


For export, the tubers are processed into tapioca, or

"pearls," and starch, while the fibrous waste in used locally as hog


In recent years there has been an increasing use of cassava in

Europe as a source of carbohydrate feed for livestock.

Responding to the steady demand in foreign markets for tapioca and

starch, Thailand increased its cassava production more than 20-fold

between 1950 and 1961.

In 1950, Thailand exported 19,000 tons of starch,

but in 1961 exports reached 443,000 m. tons.

During the mid-1950's, the

most important markets were Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong.


expansion of Thai production since then has been largely in response to

the development of markets in the United States, West Germany, the

Netherlands, arl the United Kingdom.

To meet this increasing demand

in the foreign markets, cassava production in recent years has increased

at an average annual rate of about 30 percent.

More than 70 percent

of this increase was due to expansion in planted area.

Annual production

during the past 4 years has remained at about 2,300,000 m. tons.


demand for tapioca In pellet form provides the main incentive for the large

volume of output.


is needed to improve protein, both in quality and

quantity, for nutrition for man and animals, and better starch for

industry in varieties that are adapted to mechanized production.


plasm of better keepers for marketing and storage facilities are also



The following observations on cassava were received from

F. W. Martin (P,329):

Cassava (Manihot esculenta) had its origin in the New World.

Early during the history of exploration, however, cassavas were

recognized as valuable and easily produced foods, and were carried

throughout the tropical world.

But this introduction was never

done on a systematic basis, and hence most of the tropical world is

relatively germplasm

poor as compared to South and Central America.

Even in these areas, however, systematic collection and testing has

never been done on a really broad basis.

Nevertheless, in almost

all countries one can find selected or standard varieties.

Thailand is probably no exception to the rule that only a limited

amount of germplasm

has been introduced and tested.

Probably pro­

duction could be increased rapidly by introduction and testing of new


In particular, varieties could be easily obtained from

collections in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.

African and Indian cassavas may carry cassava mosaic disease, and

as such, should not be introduced unless the situation with respect

to the disease in Thailand is well known.

Mosaic tolerant varieties

are available in both East and West Africa.

Any introduction program should be protected through quarantine


Cuttings should not include the growing tip, which could

carry one of several shoot flies.

Propagating material should be free

of leaves, and free from insect damage.


From Colombia a disease caused

by Xanthosomas has been reported, and this must be avoided.

The soundest

procedures would be to grow new introductions in areas isolated from

other cassavas, and to destroy any diseased material, unless it be

a condition common to other regions of Thailand.

Another potential with respect to the diversification of agriculture

is to diversify the uses of cassava. grown so cheaply.

Probably no other food can be

Among the potentials in a country that already

produces the crop and processes it for export are the production of

starch and starch derivatives, the production and utilization of

flour, and the production of fermentation-enriched substrates.


best process of this sort appears to be with yeast, and probable

nutritious and tasty foods suitable to the diets of Thailand can be

developed through techniques already wJdely used in other countries.

Official production statistics on crops, other than cassava, are

difficult to obtain.

Although important in the Thai diet, most are

grown in home gardens, while commercial production is somewhat limited.

Observation has revealed an abundance of sweetpotatoes (Ipomoea

batatas) throughout the country.

Output of this crop in 1964 reached

154,000 m. tons.

Production in 1967 was estimated at approximately

182,000 m. tons.

New germplasm

of the varieties, especially

resistant to weevil, is needed.

Production of taro (Colocasia esculenta) and other similar root

crops also increased slightly during decreased to 1.7 million m. tons.

1964 - 67,

but cassava production

During the following years, however,

there was a gradual increase of about 2 percent annually of these crops

for immediate consumption.

During CY 1967, 58,000 m. tons of taro


were produced; and 48,000 m. tons of "yam bean" (Pachyrhizus erosus).

Potato (Solanum tuberosum) production in 1967 amounted to approxi­ mately 7,000 m. tons.

Germplasm of varieties especially resistant

to prevalent insects and diseases, and particularly those adaptable

for tropical environmental conditions, are required.

SUGARCANE (Saccharum officinarum L.). - This is the principal

source of sugar in the Thai diet.

At one time it was believed that

cane sugar would become the most important agricultural product of

Thailand. export.

During the 19th Century sugar was often an article of

With the aid of Western agriculturists, Java became the

most important producer in Southeast Asia, and its sugar replaced the Thai product, both in the foreign market and even in Thailand. Consequently, rice superseded sugarcane as the principal crop of Thailand, because of increasing world requirements.

Also, rice

was better adapted to the low wet soil of the Central Plain. The processing of sugar for local consumption in Thailand was

revived and initiated as one of the industrialization measures

adopted during the period preceding World War II.

Between 1947 and

1954, the planted area increased 2.4 times, and the total output 4.4


By 1957 production was almost 16 times the prewar average,

and the country was approaching self-sufficiency.

During the period

of 1950-54 about 185,000 acres were plantedand production amounted to

4,147,000 m. tons.

Since that time, the acreage and production of

cane have steadily increased.


Table 5

Sugarcane Production in Thailand

Estimate of area planted, total production and average yields

of cane during 1967-72


Area planted (rai)

Total production (tons)

Average yield (tons/rai)


per ton

cane (Kg.)
































Sugar Institute, Ministry of Industry


Table 6 Area planted and production by Geographical Regions Northern Area Planted Production (rai) (tons)

Northeastern Area Planted Production (rai) (tons)

Eastern Area Planted Production (rai) (tons)

Central Plain Area Planted Production (rai) (tons)'
























235,076 1P45,534








244,599 1,738,741








233,529 1826,464





Sugar Institute, Ministry of Industry

For best yields sugarcane requires abundant rainfall during 8

to 10 months after planting, followed by 2 to 4 months of low rainfall,

while the crop attains full growth, and is approaching maturity.


Province of Chonburi was formerly the main producing area in Thailand.

During the period from 1959 to 1964 the industry expanded, and the

relative share of Chonburi increased correspondingly.

It was estimated that cane output during the 1970-71 season would

reach 5.6 million m. tons, compared with 5.1 million m. tons in the

1969-70 season.

The country expected to produce 510,000 m. tons of

sugar in 1970-71, compared with 417,425 tons during the 1969-70 season,

or an increase of about 22 percent.

Domestic consumption is estimated

to be between 350,000 and 370,000 m. tons annually.

The 9ugar Institute is undertaking a survey of the sugarcane

situation throughout the country.

Therd are 31 sugar mills in operation,

of which 4 are owned by the government and the remainder are privately


The Thai Sugar Factory Association

allocated as follows

the volume of raw sugar and plantation white to be produced during the

1970-71 season:

26,000 tons of raw sugar, and 27,600 tons of white sugar

in government-owned factories; and 200,000 of raw sugar and 252,900 tons

of white sugar in privately-owned factories; making a total of 506,500 m.


Thailand currently has comitments to export 17,154 m. tons of raw

sugar to the United States under the allocated quota, and 32,400 m. tons

under the International Sugar Organization quota. withdrew its membership from the I.S.O.


In 1971, Thailand

R. E. Coleman (p. 328 ), comments as follows:

"The Thai sugarcane industry

could probably increase productivity through the use of improved pest resistant


The U. S. Department of Agriculture sent 94 varieties to Thailand in

1964 but has not sent any since.

The 1964 shipment contained a wide selection

of the best commercial varieties available from countries with climatic conditions

similar to Thailand.

Unfortunately, varieties developed by USDA for use in

Florida or Louisiana do not do well in Thailand because of their early flowering

habit. Also, major emphasis of breeding for disease resistance in the U. S. is

for sugarcane mosaic. It is likely that mosaic strains in Louisiana differ from

those in Thailand.

"Major sugarcane diseases in Thailand are fungal and bacterial leaf diseases.

Therefore, it would seem feasible that Thailand should look to countries with

similar disease problems for resistant varieties.

Such countries might be

Taiwan, Philippines, Mauritius, India, and possibly Australia. USDA could

provide some of the latest varieties from these countries for Thailand on the

basis of a shipment of 25 varieties per year.

Thailand could import even more

recent varieties direccly from the countries of origin since it takes 2 years for a

variety to go through our quarantine program.

"We have no information on cultural practices in Thailand. Undoubtedly

sugar production could be increased through adoption of new and improved cul­ tural techniques.

These include:

use of heat-treatment of seed-pieces to

control ratoon stunting disease, timing of fertilizer applications, use of over­ head and surface irrigation, control of flowering, weed control, and regulation

of plant populations by rate of planting and width of rows. The best way to learn

of these practices would be for key people in Thai sugar industry to visit

countries such as Taiwan, Australia, or South Africa to observe the application

of these techniques."



- The most important fibers produced

in Thailand are roselle, jute, cotton, and kapok.


was once an important fiber crop but production became

insignificant with the decline in demand.

Roselle is

cultivated chiefly in the northeastern Khorat Plateau,

wherever there is sufficient water and loose soil,

while jute is grown mainly in the Central provinces.

Output of roselle, the more important of the two fibers,

decreased from a high of 661,000 tons in 1966 to 320,000 m.

tons in 1969.

Low price level for roselle in recent

years accounts for this decline.

Exports of roselle in 1969

amounted to an estimated 250,000 m. tons. Japan, Belgium, India, France and Italy.

Major buyers were





"/,,,- .,:"-



Figure 11. Retting roselle (Cannabis sabdariffa, var. altissima) east Thailand.




KENAF (Hibiscus spp.). -

This is the common name of two closely

related species of Hibiscus of the Mallow family (Malvaceae).

H. cannab­

inus, known by such vernacular names as Bimli-, Deccan-, gumbo-, ambari­ hemp or Cuban-hemp, was introduced into Thailand in 1951 by the United

States Operations Missions (USOM).

Asiatic kenaf, or commonly known as

Thai or Siam jute, mechta, Bimli jute, and "Roselle" (H. sabdariffa var.

altissima), is native to Thailand, where it has been propagated for

centuries for local use.

The soft fiber contained in the best of kenaf

stems has properties very similar to jute (Corchorus capsularis and

C. olitorius>, and has become an important substitute for that fiber. In

many countries H. cannabinus gives a higher yield and matures more quickly

than H. sabdariffa, but attempts to propagate varieties of this species in

Thailand have not proved successful, largely because of high sensitivity

to nematode iLnfestation.

Also, it has an itphy pubescence, which renders

it disagreeable to handle during the harvesting and processing stages.

Varieties of H. sabdariffa var. altissima, nevertheless, are resistant to

nematodes and drought, prevalent in the Northeast.

So that more than 70

percent of the kenaf fiber now produced in that area is obtained from

Hibiscus sabdariffa, var. altissima, Siam jute.

known in the trade as roselle or

Thailand is today the largest producer and exporter of this fiber.

Although kenaf and jute have figured in the traditional economy of

Thailand, production of these crops was relatively unimportant until about

the middle 19 50's.

Production of kenaf in Thailand in 1950 was only 4,700

m. tons, but by 1961 it had increased to 339,000 tons.

During the late

1950's and early 1960's kenaf production and export expanded more rapidly


than corn, rice, or cassava.

Production increased at an average

annual rate of about 46 percent, while exports increased at the rate

of 47 percent annually.

Current low yields in Thailand are primarily due to neglect of


When all recommendations are followed, such as good fertility,

cultivation for weed and pest control, excellent yields are obtained.

Thai production has been highly concentrated in the Northeast.

During 1956-63, over 96 percent of the country's total production

was obtained from that region.

The Provinces of Maharasa Kham, Nakhorn

Ratsima, and Chayaphum together accounted for more than 45 percent of

the total production during the 1956-63 period, with smaller output in

the Provinces of Ubon Rathani, Khon Kaen, Buriram, Srisaket, and


With respect to competition with other crops, in many areas of

the Nurtheast the major alternative crop to kenaf production is corn.

In the Northeast, the area planted to corn in 1967 was 524,000 rai,

mainly in Korat. 2,177,000 rai.

Buring the same year, the area planted to kenaf was

Both crops are c-1 tivated in that region on the slash­

and burn system (swidden), as well as in more permanent upland areas.

Other crops competing with kenaf for higher elevations include dryland

rice, castor bean, cassava, cotton, and mung bean.

Kenaf, like corn and

cassava, also compete with wetland rice for marginal paddyland, and

for labor during the planting and harvesting seasons.

Fields to be planted in kenaf are plowed or hoed as early as the

first rairspermit.

Usually only hand implements are used for this

preparation, especially in the slash-and-burn areas.


Seeds are

planted early during the rainy season, in May or June.

About two-thirds

of the kenaf area is sown by broadcasting, and the remainder by dibbling.

Water requirement of the growing plant is not extremely precise, although

too much water at the beginning or a very dry season are detrimental.

Care between planting and harvesting is generally limited to occasional

weediug eaz'v in the growing stage.

The best quality fiber is obtained when the plants are grown under

good cultural practices, timely planting, properly fertilized, cultivated,

and insect pests and diseases kept under control.

The crop is harvested

about 120-140 days after planting, in September, October, or November.

If the plant is cut too early, the yield will be low, the top of the stem

will be immature, and therefore will decay in the retting process.

If cut

too late, the stems become too woody and the fiber is hard and brittle.

To obtain a high quality fiber, not only the timing of the harvesting must

be precise, but the subsequent retting must be done in relatively clean


Retting consists of immersing bundles of plants in ponds or streams

for 10 to 30 days, in order that the bark will decay, and to free the fibers,

In many parts of the Northeast, unfortunately, adequate supplies of

clean water are not available at harvest time to ret.

Much of the fiber,

therefore, is of low quality, because of discoloration produced in the

retting process.

After retting, the fiber is separated from the bundles

and dried on bamboo poles for 2 or 3 days, and is then ready to be baled

and shipped to the factory or exported.


1/ According to Elton G.Nelson n

"Thai kenaf ('Thai jute'

or 'Siam Jute') has sold traditionally for a price lower than its use-value compared to jute from Bangladesh.

This has

arisen primarily because the grading of Thai kenaf has not

been dependable, and buyers have protected themselves from

below-grade material threugh low prices.

1Reportedly, grading is improving, and would be adequate

if official grades were properly applied. To establish a

reputation for the integrity of grades takes time, but should

not be a great expense.

Once established, good grading will

assure prices more competitive with jute.

"Fiber quality--and price--is limited by water cleanliness for retting and washing.

Planting in areas with adequate

water should be encouraged.

Grading systems, properly applied,

should aid materially in locating production near fresh water."

Former Assistant Director (Ret.), Business Services and

Analysis Division, Office of Textiles, Dept. of Commerce.


Figure 12.

Washing ratted kenaf ribbons at Abekena, Mexico. (Courtesy of

E. G. Nelson.)


The advantage of kenaf in Thailand is that it grows in arid

conditions, and is suitable for rice sacks, for which Thailand can give

an assured market.

The objectives in promoting kenaf growing in

Thailand were the desire to diversify and the quest for a crop suitable

to the climate and soils in the Northeast.

Relatively little government

encouragement was needed, once the practicability of the crop was


Some maintain that kenaf rapidly exhausts the soil, and

in some Provinces the farmers have had to move into new areas in search

of unexhausted land. According to Lasheen, at the Northeast Agricultural

Center, kenaf produces some fiber, but no seed, possibly because of


Under the same conditions it has been found that corn is more

nutrient consuming but will not yield.

The Thai government has undertaken

research into the possible use of fertilizer in kenaf growing.

It is

true that fertilizers can restore the soil, but in view of the uncertainties

both of climate and price, opinions differ as tc whether fertilizer would

be economical in most kenaf-producing areas.

Although kenaf demands less moisture than jute for growing, the

retting process requires clean water to avoid discoloration, and supplies

of water, particularly in remote areas, are often not adequate.


should be assisted in developing relatively simple water storage tech­ niques, to ribbon the kenaf, and to ret the fiber in centrally located


The estimate of the harvested area and output of kenaf fiber, mostly

roselle, during 1967, was placed at 856,400 acres, and 421,400 m. tons,

compared with 1,244,000 acres, and 661,400 m. tons in 1966.


during the 1969-70 season was placed at 380,000 to 400,000 m. tons.


Domestic consumption in 1970 was placed at 90,000 m. tons.


exported 257,344 m. tons of kenaf and jute (excluding tow and waste)

in 1969, mainly to India and Japan.

During 1969, also, the 9 mills

in Thailand produced 44,893,038 gunny bags, compared with more than 55

million in 1968.

The principal use of kenaf is for the Manufacture of gunny bags,

Hessian cloth, and to a less extent for rope and twine.


interest is now being shown in the industrial use of roselle and kenaf

in the manufacure of paper pulp. the Weekly


April 12, 1971):

The following statement appeared in

of the Alliance for Progress (Vol. 9, No. 15,

"As forests dwindle and the use of paper and paper

products grows all over the world, it appears that by 1980 there will

be a scarcity of paper.

This projection and increasing concern for

the environment have encouraged an intensive search for new cellulose


"A promising source," according to Agricultura de las Americas,

a monthly magazine of the Intertec Publishing Corporation of Kansas City,

Missouri, "is kenaf, a fiber-yielding plant used in rope- and bag-making."

Preliminary tests made in several paper mills indicate that kenaf

is suitable for the production cf good quality bond paper, comparable

to any made from hardwoods.

It can also be utilized in mixes to

improve low quality pastes.


According to George A. White (p,3 29 ):

Breeding lines and cultivars

of both kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) and roselle (H. sabdariffa) should

be intensively field tested under replicated and multi-locational

conditions for a two to three-year period or longer to determine which ones

are superior in fiber production and pest resistance.

Under favorable

growing conditions, kenaf is faster-growing and more productive than


However, kenaf is highly susceptible to root-knot nematodes,

whereas most roselle cultivars are resistant. drought tolerant than kenaf.

Roselle reputedly is more

Some nematode-resistant kenaf materials have

been identified in the United States but are not yet available.


within roselle should be for early vigor, increased overall growth rate,

and reduced branching.

Limited amounts of seed of kenaf and roselle cultivars

and accessions are available from the U. S. Department of Agriculture for

research purposes.

However, most of the roselles on hand may be material

that is available in Thailand as several were introduced from there and near­ by nations.

Kenaf has potential as an important source of raw material

for pulp and papermaking in the United States, and there is some interest

in Thailand for the same use.

Kenaf for paper pulp.--The increase in population and literacy coupled

with industrial and economic advance has boosted Thailand's annual con­ sumption of paper and paper products considerably during recent years.


current consumption of paper and paperboard is nearly 250,000 tons/year, of

which some 35% is supplied domestically.

One commendable effort toward utilization of local fibrous material

is the project by the United Pulp and Paper Co. to make pulp from kenaf

(Hibiscus cannabinus).


According to Vira Susangkarakarn, Deputy Director General,

Department of Industrial Works, Ministry of Industry:

"The plan

for the $16-million project, which was awarded promotional status

by the Thai Government calls for annual production of 33,000 tons of

kenaf pulp.

The United Pulp and Paper Co. will be capitalized at

U. S. $2.5 million with 80% Thai ownership.

The company allocates

some U. S. $2 million annually for purchase of 85,000 tons of kenaf,

and the entire kenaf stem will be used in pulping.

The pulp mill,

reportedly the first of its kind in the world, will be situated on

an 80-acre site near the source of raw material in Khon Kaen province.

Manufacturing equipment will be imported from Japan, Taiwan, U.S.A.,

and Europe.

The mill will employ 135 during the first stage of

production, increasing to 1C4 at full capacity.

"On March 1, 1971, the Thai-Scott Paper Co. Ltd. officially opened its new tissue paper mill at Samut Prakarn, near Bangkok.


$2.5 million plant, a 50-50 joint venture between Scott Paper Co. of U.S.A. and a group of local investors, has been producing tissue papers since

the new year, using imported pulp.

Plant machinery includes German and

American-made stock preparation equipment, a 2.34-m-wide Fourdrinier-

Yankee tissue paper machine built by Sano Iron Works of Japan, and con­ verting equipment of German and American manufacture.

Currently the

mill is producing 15 m tons/day, to be increased to 22 tons/day. range of products includes premium grade two-ply toilet tissue,

chemically treated wet-strength facial tissues, and napkins.

"The company is planning to export its paper to neighboring

countries, with the first orders being shipped to Malaysia.



"Another tissue mill, Kimberly-Clark Thailand Ltd., is under

construction at Patum Tani, just north of Bangkok, and is scheduled

to commence operation later this year.

"Two more paper mills are also under construction at sites near

Bangkok, and will be in production soon. be:

Their combined capacity will

writing paper, 14,500 tons/yr.; kraft paper and cardboard, 13,000


"To supplement the country's industrial development program, the

government offers a wide range of investment incentives under the

Promotion of Industrial Investment Act to those who want to start

industries which will help improve the economy, earn foreign exchange,

and substitute for imports.

Apart from guarantees against nationalization,

permission to own land for industrial activities, to take or remit abroad

money in foreign exchange, loan, or profit may be awarded to acceptable

applicants for promotional status.

"Pulp and paper is a major promoted industry under this scheme.

So far almost all applications for promotional status and those already

awarded have been to establish paper mills using imported pulp and waste

paper as raw materials, indicating the dependency of Thai paper industry

on imported pulp. years.

Pulp imports have increased four-fold in the past five

Unless more mills are established to produce pulp domestically,

imported pulp requirements may reach 80,000 tons in three to four years.

At present only three mills produce pulps for their own use.

Pulp mills

employing local raw materials to produce market pulp are yet to be



Table 7




7.3 kg/16 lbs.



Per capita consumption of paper and

Paper and paperboard mills:

Non-wood pulp mills:

straw, 1; bagasse, 1; bamboo, ..

Production (metric tons)











Bamboo pulp



Bagasse and straw pulp










Total Waste paper consumed

Imports-Exports (metric tons) Paper and board imports



Paper and board exports







Pulp imports Waste paper imports

Principal paper and board imports from: Australia.

14; Total pulp

Japan, U.S.A., Canada, Taiwan,

Principal paper and board exports to:

Principal pulp imports from:

Singapore, Hong Kong.

U.S.A., Finland, Sweden, Taiwan.

e = estimated



Figure 13.


50 tons


100 tons


500 tons


1,000 tons

Jute production by provinces in 1962.


JUTE (Corchorus capsularis and C. olitorius). - Unlike kenaf,

which is a dryland crop and some varieties thrive under somewhat arid

conditions, jute requires more water for favorable growth.

It is still

a minor crop in Thailand, grown mainly in the Central Plain on land

suitable for wetland rice.

The present Thai output of jute is only

With the present rice premium, there

about 5 percent of that of kenaf.

are few areas in the country where jute production would be considered pro­ fitable.

With the free market in rice, in all likelihood it will hardly

be grown on an extensive scale.

The Jute Association has launched a

program to develop production of this fiber in the Province of Nakhorn

Sawan, about 210 miles north of Bangkok, and planned to distribute

about 3,200 pounds of jute seeds through the local Irrigation Associa­ tion.

It was planned, also, to import jute seed from India and Pakistan

to be planted in the northern provinces during the 1970-71 period.

Prospects for Jute in the Northeast. -

In a seminar on problems of

innovating agricultural technology in Thailand, a paper was presented

on "Prospects for Jute in Northeast Thailand," by Narong Chomchalow,

Acting Research Director, Agricultural Products Research Institute,

Applied Scientific Research Corporation of Thailand (ASRCT). are excerpts from that paper:

The following

"Two species of Corchorus: are presently

cultivated for their bast fiber, used as raw material for gunny sack and

other purposes.

They are C, capsularis, the round-capsuled type, grown

on the lowland, and C. olitorius, the long-capsuled type grown on the up­ land and is not tolerant of floods.

Until about three years ago, jute was

primarily grown on the alluvial soils along the rivers in the Central Plain.

The dried ribbons are used locally to make cordage and a small amount of

fiber is exported.


"Although jute was grown in the Central Plain during World War II, pro­ duction from C. capsularis has declined recently because of low yield, low

price, competition with rice, impact of synthetic fibers, etc.

"Incentive for jute growing in the Northeast. -

The price fluctuation

of kenaf, as well its market instability, makes kenaf a difficult crop to

produce at a profit.

Used as jute substitute, kenaf is beginning to lose its

importance, especially when a good crop of jute is elsewhere produced.

"New Jute varieties. - Although both species of jute have been grown

experimentally in several Northeastern agricultural stations, none deserved

particular attention, since their yield was relatively low.

Recently, however,

introduced olitorius varieties have opened up a new era for jute growing in

the Northeast.

"History of the Introduction. - Among several olitorius varieties introduced,

only three deserve special attention, namely: JRO 632.

(1) Daisyl/, (2) Toss2- and (3)

The first two varieties were introduced by a kenaf exporter some 5

years ago from India.

After careful observation of their potential in the

Northeast, they became popular among farmers who were encouraged to grow and

sell the fiber produced to the baler at a of 200 tons were produced and exported.

guaranteed price.

In 1970, a total

JRO 632 was introduced from East

Pakistan by Dr. Bhakdi Lusanandana, Director-General, Rice Department.


the initial observation at the Central Region Agricultural Center, Chai Nat,

it was introduced to the Northeast and was classed as satisfactory by Mr. Amnuay

Kasipar, who planted this variety at the Non Sung Agricultural Experiment Station."

Basic facts of new jute varieties. -

The following data were obtained

from observation plots at Non Sung as recorded bi Mr. Amnuay Kasipar:

l/This is a "tossa" jute grown in a specific area, especially Southern Bengal. 2-OTossa" is the common and accepted trade name for C. olitorius. 76




Daisy (&Tossa)

Age at harvest (days) Fresh weight yield (kg/rai) Fiber yield (kg/rai) Age at seed harvest (days) Yield of seeds (kg/rai) Growth (height) at the age of:

JRO 632

92 9,042 341 133 100 1 month 2 months 3 months

125 8,770 552 139-140 100

0.92 m 1.72 " 2.25 "

Basal-end rot infection (%)

1.27 m 2.48 " 3.01 "



Promotion plan for jute growing in the Northeast

The Thai Jute Association has been actively involved in the

jute growing promotion.

In 1970, it began to encourage farmers in

Nakorn Sawan to grow capsularis jute. unforeseeable

Unfortunately, because of

obstacles, it was a complete failure.

One lesson

was obtained: that it is better to encourage farmers who had some

experience in growing bast fiber crop; a id the best bet is the


As a new variety of olitorius jute had become popular

at Udorn, the Thai Jute Association included this variety in

its plan of operation by buying 2,000 kg. of seed to be distributed

in the 1971 growing season.

Meanwhile, the Committee on the

Promotion of Jute and Kenaf was alerted of the fact.


to the plan, the seeds were to be distributed to the farmers through

the balers who would, in turn, buy the fiber produced at a guar­ anteed price ($1 per kg higher than kenaf).

The farmers were also

asked to return the seeds to the balers for future use.

At the

end of the season, however, the balers were able to collect only

700 tons of fiber and no seeds were returned.

This was mainly

due to the lack of the "know-how" in jute growing which is quite


different from kenaf.

It was not a complete failure, however, since

most farmers were still anxious to grow jute, and 20 tons of seeds were

bought back from the farmers for the 1972 crop.

During 1972, activities initiated in this matter were:

(a) Department of Agricultural Extension:

Specified the areas for urgent promotion in the six

provinces of the Northeast.

Arranged a conference at the Northeast Agricultural Center

to aquaint extension officers, balers, and farmers on jute growing

promotion plan and the technical know-how of jute growing.

Published leaflets on jute growing.

Established demonstration and multiplication plots.

In cooperation with other technical agencies, such as the

Department of Agriculture and Applied Scientific Research Corporation

of Thailand, provided technical assistance to several non-technical


(b) Thai Jute Association

Distributed seeds through balers and donated 2,000 kg of

seeds to the Self-help Settlements.

Set up a price guarantee ($1 per kg higher than kenaf).

(c) Gunny Sack Factory Group: Set up seed multiplication plan by providing a fund

($ 400,000) to produce good, reliable seeds from 500 rai of land. (It was expected that the seeds produced would be enough to plant

200,000 rai in 1973).


Set up a price guarantee and marketing channel.

(d) Self-help Settlement (Public Welfare Department):

Encouraged members in four Settlements (a total area of 8,000 rai) to g.


jute, using the 2,000 kg of seeds donated by the

Thai Jute Association.

Aside from the expected total of 30 tons of

fiber, worth 10 million.baht, (10,000 baht for each family), 20 kg of seeds would be produced by each of the 1,000 families, or a total of 20,000 kg for future crop. Requested to set up a floor price (at least $ 2.50 per kg.) as guaranteed by the Northeast Jute Mill and the Thai Jute Asso­ ciation.


Jute is a new potential crop of the Northeast which may substitute for


Its advantages lie in its better quality fiber, with versatile

uses and, therefore, fetches higher price and more stable market than


At present, most farmers still lack the know-how of jute growing.

But, with the strong program of extension, backed up by research activ­ ities and support from all agencies concerned, no such problem remain in the future.


It is anticipated, however, that other problems

will remain or arise, particularly if no precaution is made to solve


They are problems in production2 e.g. varietal improvement,

fertilizer, weed control, etc., and marketing

(e.g. quality control,

price fluctuation, market stabilityl. If these problems will be elim­ inated or at least reduced, it is expected that jute will become the

new economic crop of the Northeast, completely or at least partly re­ placing kenaf in the very near future.


KAPOK (Ceiba pentandra var. indica).

The culligen is native to

American tropics, and is widely distributed in tropical Asia and Africa.

It is moderate-sized to large, quick-growing, upright, and thornless. A

distinctive characteristic is the manner in which the branches extend

horizontally at a right angle to the stem. Often planted along borders

of fields for fence posts, the tree is deciduous in the dry season, from

January to April.

The greenish-white flowers are produced in clusters

soon after the leaves have dropped, and the fruit pods are ripe about 3

months later. The tree begins to bear pods, containing a silky floss or

the kapok of commerce, when about 5 years old. When mature the pod splits

open, releasing the silky fiber. The yield of pods increases with the

age of the tree.

Well-developed, mature trees under favorable conditions

furnish about 7,000 pounds of pods per acre. The pods are collected before

they are fully ripe, and are dried in the sun. Kapok cannot be spun, but

is an excellent material for stuffing pillows, mattresses, upholstery and

life preservers, used both in the countries of origin, and as an article

for export. Its wood is soft, white and brittle, and is used to some extent

locally in interior construction, and for crates and boxes. The tree is

readily propagated from seed or cuttings, and thrives from sea level up to

2,000 feet.

In Thailand, kapok was formerly harvested from trees growing by road­ sides, or boundaries, or from scattered stands of natural reproduction.

Some systematic planting has been carried out in recent years. In 1955

the Thai Department of Agriculture estimated that about 8,000 acres of


cultivated land were devoted to the production of kapok.

The tree is an erratic fruit producer, bearing heavily in

some years and not at all in others.

Harvesting of kapok

pods begins in March and April, and peak production is during

May to July.

The extraction rate for fruit in Thailand is

reported as being 35 percent floss or fiber, 55 percent

seeds, and 10 percent core or center part.

In 1967, production of kapok pods was estimated at

61,000 m. tons, and in 1968 output increased to about

68,000 tons.

According to unofficial statistics, kapok trees

produced about 300,000 m. tons of kapok (unshelled) in 1968,

most of which was consumed domestically.

Japan continues

to be the biggest buyer of this commodity.

RAMIE (Boehmeria nivea). - Considered among the strongest

and best of the vegetable fibers, ramie has been known and

used for centuries.

It is native to C1ina, Japan, and the

Malaysian Peninsula, where it has been cultivated for thou­ sands of years.

It is well known in parts of India, especially

in Bengal and Bangladesh, and has been grown to a limited extent

in parts of Africa, South America and in southern United States.

But nowhere is it cultivated on a large scale.

In cultivation, sev­

eral crops can be harvested in one year, as the root develops a

succession of stems.

Plants will yield for several years, but after


a time the yield and quality of the fiber will deteriorate unless heavily fertilized, since the plant suffers from lack of plant nutrients.

Ramie is propagated usually by cuttings, layering, root division, and

sometimes by seed.

Two types of the plant are known--true ramie or

China grass, which is the Chinese cultivated plant; and Boehmeria nivea

var. tenacissima, commonly known as "rhea," originating probably in

Malaysia, where it is propagated.

The plants have no stinging hair,

characteristic of other members of the Nettle family (Uticaceae).


fiber has a tensile strength greater than other natural fibers, and its

tensile strength increases when wet.

It can be combed, dyes well, and

holds color better than most fibers.

The fiber is amcng the longest of

vegetable fibers, very durable, has a high luster, but lacks elasticity

and is difficult to spin in the normal way.

For many years the lack of

suitable decorticating machinery and great difficulty in separating the

fiber from the gummy cortex prevented the expansion of ramie cultivation

on an extensive commercial scale.

In China and Japan, where its cultiva­

tion has been carried on for centuries, extraction and cleaning of the

fiber continue to be done by hand.

It is also used as a forage plant.

In Japan it is spun on the silk system, and in some countries, such

as Switzerland, on the cotton system.

However, if spun on the cotton system

the fiber must be stapled--the ultimate cells of the degummed fiber are too

long for the cotton system. usually done on the raw

Stapling, usually in 2 or 3 inch pieces, is

ribbon before degumming.

Essentially, all of the

fiber degummed in the United States, almost entirely in Florida, during

the 1940's and 1950's was degummed, and most of it exported.


COTTON (Gossypium spp.). - Although long grown in

Thailand, cotton production is less today than in former

years, and current output is insufficient to meet the

domestic demand.

Thailand imports a substantial part of its

cotton textile requirements, largely in the form of finished

and semifinished goods.

Imports of raw cotton are als.

significant, however, and were valued at $13 million in 1968.

American upland cotton varieties now grown in Thailand are

classified as medium-long staple, with production of yarn with

40 count.

Imported cotton of longer staple, mainly from the

United States, is blended with locally grown cotton, but only

about one-third of Thailand's cotton output is used for commercial


The other two-thirds is considered inferior and is used

for home weaving and for stuffing mattresses and pillows.

At one time the acreage under cotton in Thailand was

very much greater than it is today, and the home handloom

industry was capable of clothing almost the entire population.

But like sugarcane and other crops, cotton gave way

before the expansion of rice in the late 19th century.

As the supply of raw material dwindled, the home industry


Also, imports of cheaper goods from Japan and India

hastened the abandonment of cotton cultivation


in those regions where rice could be planted successfully,

and was more profitable.

Three species of cotton are grown in Thailand:


hirsutum, introduced from America, and G. arboreum and

G. herbaceum, both of which are indigenous.


generally is grown on unirrigated land, not suitable for

rice, along the margins of the Central Plain, in the Upper

Plain, and the Khorat region in the Northeast which has

long been the principal area.

During 1950-54 Khorat

accounted for about 60 percent of the total cotton

acreage and production.

Cotton is generally planted during the rainy season,

in July in most of the principal producing areas, with

no irrigation.

Factors which have hampered the growing of cotton

in Thailand are bollworm (Heliothis sp.J,

leaf hopper

(Empoasea sp.), and some spiny bollworm (Exarias sp.),

and other destructive insects, especially in low altitude

areas, where there

- -o cold season to destroy insect

pests that infest vhe _',rounding natural vegetation, low soil fertility, and lack of cultivation practices.


A strain furnished by the Thai Department of Agricul­ ture was Reba B50.

The Department also experimented with

a strain of cotton called BTK 12 in Sukhothai Province,

and it was expected that seeds of this strain would become

available for planting in the 1971-72 season.

The Thai

government continues to receive technical assistance from

the United Kingdom and France under the Colombo Plan.

Unofficial estimate of production for 1969-70 was

placed at 12,000 m. tons (55,000 bales), compared with

28,000 tons in the 1968-69 season.

The sharp decrease was

attributed, in part, to difficulties in obtaining credit

to purchase pesticides. Also, many farmers are turning to

corn, which requires less input and care.


were that there would be a substantial decrease in the major

producing Provinces of Sukhothai and Loei in 1970-71 be­ cause of drought and insect-infestation.

For several years Thailand has imported from 22,200

to 25,270 tons (100,000 to 115,000 bales) annually to

supply mill consumption, and expects to increase its annual

imports to 38,800 tons (175,000 bales).

Cotton imports

increased substantially from 16,980 m. tons in 1968-69

to about 25,660 m. tons in 1969-70.


In FAS M-169, Vernon L. Harness, Cotton Division, USDA, summarizes the

cotton situation in Thailand as follows:

"Until after World War II, Thailand produced all the cotton needed

by its textile industry situated in small factories and homes.


in the past several years, cotton consumption has outstripped domestic

production, and Thailand has become a good market for significant quantities

of U.S. cotton.

Many--but not all--Thai officials would like to see

domestic production increased to the point where imports of raw cotton

could be eliminated.

However, this does not seem likely.

Thai per

capita consumpLion of cotton is relatively low, but an increase is

expected in view of the rising level of living and a larger population.

tBy 1964-65, the textile capacity had reached about 116,000 spindles

and 3,400 looms in 12 mills.

It is expected that by sometime in 1966 the

number of spindles will have more than doubled over the 1964-65 figure

and the number of looms will have been increased to about 5,000.


will be used on most of this equipment but manmade fiber use will also

be increased.

In 1964-65, cotton consumption was estimated at about

120,000 bales, of which an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 bales were consumed

in nonmill uses.

"There will be need for a substantially larger quantity of raw cotton

in the Thai textile industry in the next Lew years.

To meet these

requirements, increased domestic cotton production has been encouraged by

Thai Government officials through increased research facilities and more

comprehensive extension programs.

Results are now being felt.

The 1964-65

crop was estimated at 65,000 bales, compared with lpss than 30,000 a year

in the early 1950's.

A considerable portion of the crop is now grown

under relatively primitive methods, although advanced techniques are

gradually being adopted by the farmers. Improved varieties better

suited to Thai conditions are being readied for distribution; and the

use of insecticides and other improved practices, including use of

mechanical power and equipment, is becoming more widespread.

Also, extension services are being enlarged, as are also transportation

and communications facilities."

Although climatic conditions in subtropical countries such as

Thailand are not well suited for growing cotton, Thai producers appear

prepared to meet the hazards, especially from insects and diseases, and

production will probably expand considerably over the next several years.

It also appears likely that consumption will increase at least as much.

Under these conditions, Thailand will need to import at least as much

cotton in each of the next several years as has been needed in the past

2 or 3 years.

U.S. cotton has been the dominant foreign growth in the

Thai market, and it should continue to compete strongly for this market

when the price is competitive.

The following table is based on 1955-64

cotton supply and distribution in Thailand.


Table 9



Supply and distribution in Thailand, 1955-65



Stocks Aug. 1 1,0003/ bales-


1,000 bales



1 000 bales.3 /

Total supply


1,000 1- 1es 2 /

1,000 bales 3 1


July 31

















1957--------- 13 1958--------- 14

50 48

1 3

64 65

50 50



1959 ----- 15 1960--------- 12

45 65

17 28

77 105

65 85



1961--------- 20 1962--------- 25 1963--------- 26 1965L 31

58 61 61 65

42 42 44 60

120 128 131 156

95 - 1i02 100 120





lartly estimated.

2Aeginning August 1. 3480 pounds net.

4/Includes exports of 2,000 bales.


Source: Official and Trade Statistics of Thailand


PINEAPPLE (Ananas comosus). - Although grown in Thailand

for decades, only during the last 5 years or so has the processing

of pineapple become commercially significant.

Prior to 1966, pro­

duction of pineapple was small, consumed entirely by the domestic


Establishment of export-oriented processing firms led to

an abrupt increase in the industry, and the output of canned fruit

found a ready market overseas, especially in the United States

and West Germany.

The principal varieties are:

Sarawak, Sri Racha, Intorachit,

Singapore, and Chantabun, while the Smooth Cayenne, introduced from

Hawaii about 22 years ago, is the principal canning variety. of the pineapples is

The bulk

grown in the Province of Prachuap-Khirikhan, in

the south-central part of the country, and in Chonburi and Rayong

Provinces, on the eastern flank of the Gulf of Thailand.

The Province

of Lampang, in northern Thailand, is also noted for its small, sweet

pineapple, and is becoming another important producing distr:ict.

Acreage and production have fluctuated considerably in recent


During the 1960-1967 period the producing area ranged from

60,000 to 102,000 acres, and annual production varied between

188,000 and 450,000 cases (with 24 cans per case).

Domestic con­

sumption of canned pineapple is confined mostly to luxury hotels

and restaurants, amounting to only 27,000 cases yearly, so that

most of the production is exported.

In 1968, Thailand's exports

reached 400,000 cases, and were expected to double in 1969.


Thailand shows promise of becoming a prominent exporter of this

commodity, along with its Asian neighbors, Taiwan, Malaysia, and


the Philippines,

and anticipates to expand its market in Japan and


The pineapple cannery visited was eauipped with modern Processing

machinery from the United States and Taiwan, and

imately $800,000.


valued at anDrox­

In 1971 the cannery reportedly expected to produce

about 800,000 cases of canned pineapple, or about double the volume

produced in 1968.

Supplies of pineapple for processing are acquired from farmers

in adjacent areas at prices varying from 1.5 to 2.5 U.S. cents per kilo­ gram.

The cannery reportedly has been processing between 150 and

250 cases per day and operates for 9 months a year.

A variety of

canned pineapple products is produced, such as crushed pineapple,

chunks, tidbits, and whole slices.

Most of these products are

exported to Western Europe and the United S;ates.

The success enjoyed by Thailand's canned pineapple in the

foreign market has encouraged the establishment of additional canning


A cannery with an investment of over $700,000 was

constructed in Prachuap-Khiri Khan Province. structed in Lampang.

Another one was con­

A cannery owned and operated by the Ministry

of Defense produces both canned pineapple and pineapple juice.

SOYBEANS (Glycine max).-

This crop is grown primarily in the

Central Plain and northern Thailand.

Production has remained

fairly stable during the past 10 years, ranging between 19,000 and 30,000 m. tons annually.

The increased production during recent

years has been in response to high domestic demand for the oil. Production target in 1975 is i00,000


tons, representing a 25

percent increase annually.

In northern Thailand soybeans are grown as a cash crop, during

the dry season, on riceland without prior ploughing and tilling.

Seeds are planted in December between rice stalks, and the vines

are harvested during the following May.

After drying, the beans

are threshed, and are then ready to be packed and shipped to the


The protein content of soybeans varies between 31 and 40


It has been shown that the proteins are adequate for

promoting the growth of animals.

Soybeans are also a good source

of vitamin B1 and B1 (riboflavin).

Some varieties are a fair source

of vitamin A, whereas others are deficient.

The oil ranges in color

from yellow to dark amber, depending upon the method of extraction,

and the variety as well as the quality of the beans.

Much of th3

current crop is utilized as a food, either directly in sprouted form

or fermented for curd.

Studies of quality improvement have been conducted in Thailand,

at the Mae-jo Agricultural Experiment Station, in Chiang Mai Province.

Seven late varieties were tested for yield - Sansai 1, 2; Mae-jo 1, 2;

Maerim 1, 2; and Phitsanulok.

No significant differences in yield

were observed among the varieties.

Yield ranged from 795 to 1,361

pounds per acre, with an average of 1,046 pounds.

To compare the

yield of soybeans following rice, three methods of planting were


seeding after stubble burning; seed on stubble; and con­

7entional method.

The yields of soybeans were comparable in each

instance, ranging from 687 to 835 pounds per acre.


It appears that

with irrigation, soybean culture requires a minimum of tillage.

Soybean is a quality crop, a good source of protein, some

vitamt-ns, furnishes a useful oil and the residue is used for

livestock and industrial uses.

Indications are that the consumption

of soybeans within the country will continue to increase. reasons, .in

it is recommended that new germplasm

For these

should be introduced

support of strain improvement with broad adaptation and resistance

to prevalent insects such as leaf hoppers, as well as bacterial, fungal

and virus diseases.

Also, work is needed on fertilization, cultural

practices and inoculation of seed with nitrogen fixing bacteria.

CASTORBEAN (Ricinus communis).-

Two types of castorbean are

grown in Thailand - the annual and the perennial, measuring up to 9 or 12 feet in height.

a local variety,

All introduced varieties

are annual in growing habit, and are shorter than the local types. Farmers are encouraged to grow the local variety as an annual crop to avoid the accumulation and carry-over of insect pests. Of the local types,

the black and white variety is

a consistently high yield.

said to give

April to May or earlier, depending on the

start of the rainy season, is

the best time to plant th4s crop, and

may be harvested during September to January. of seeds and the oil contf.it is

There is

low in native varieties.

a variability These

varieties also shatter easily, and the seeds on each spike do not

mature evenly, permitting loss of seeds which fall to the ground. New varieties introduced since l't' ,S1 are Cimarron and Baku 296. Insect damage is

serious, but insecticides are expensive while

castorbean prices are low.

Factors to be determined are comparative

yields and shattering habit.


The 1969/70 production was estimated at about 40,000 m. tons, from

an area of 96,000 acres.

The main producing areas are the Central

Plain , Khorat, and small acreages along the Kwae River, in the xrea

of Kanchanaburi.

In a personal communication, dated May 5, 1971, W. E. Domingo

(p.328), Director of Oilseeds Production Division, The Baker Castor

Oil Company, comments as follows on the culture of castor in Thailand:

"Where the crop is grown as an annual, I would expect our U. S. types

to be much superior to most of the local tropical types (humidity and

other factors being favorable), because our types were bred for early

initiation of seed setting, whereas most types used in perennial

culture in the tropics tend to initiate their seed setting much later

and, therefore, yield less in their one year of growth.

"There is need for more

overseas areas of castor oil production,

for advantages of more stabilization of supplies and prices.


is a place for increased production by some of the countries which are

now only minor producers.

The addition of this cash crop to a country's

agricult-ral economy would provide the farmer with some cash, which

he needs to purchase family needs and the additional inputs necessary

for increased production on his farm.

"The world castor trade is increasingly in the form of oil, and

any increased production should include processing within the country

of production.

Such processing would contribute to the country's

industrial economy.

Increased exports to the United States, Europe,

and Japan, etc., would provide a valuable increase in foreign exchange.

"As you know, there has been extensive research conducted in

the United States on breeding high-yielding varieties, cultural


methods, and mechanization.

Someone experienced with this work could­

assist.other countries in selecting the varieties, cultural methods and the particular type of mechanization which would be useful for each situation of climate and farmine Practice.

"The United States varieties have the capability for very high yields, and were bred for optimum conditions of low humidity, with

irrigation applied as needed.

These varieties appear to be adapted

only to very limited tropical and subtropical areas, and not to areas

of high humidity and erratic, but high, rainfall. A valuable research

activity would be the collection of castor types throughout tropical

areas and evaluating them for resistance to disease and tolerance

of drought. Better types might be usable, without further attention,

in areas which prefer perennial culture, and harvesting and hulling

by hand.

A breeding program to incorporate disease resistance and

drought tolerance into otherwise superior types would serve developing countries in.the tropics." There is a need to introduce germplasm of varieties resistant

to insect pests, particularly leaf hoppers, and diseases, especially

bacterial and fungal viruses. In another personal comnunication Domingo writes that:


believe that select parts of the castor-production technology as

developed in this country over the past 25 years could not only incrase yields, but also lower the cost of harvesting and otherwise decrease the expense of production, thereby fncreasing the growers'



"Unique and valuable genetic characters available among our plant materials include: (a)



species with indeterminate

growth habit, the early onset of spike fotmation in,:reases yield.

Our types flower early under

tropical, as well as temperate, day-lengths.



This character permits optimum fertilization

for maximum yield without the plants becoming too


It also facilitates harvesting by hand,

and it permits mechanical harvesting, if desired.

(c) Indehiscence.

1is character lowers the cost of

harvesting, whether by hand or by machine, by

reducing (usually to once) the number of times a

given field must be harvested so as to prevent

loss of seed onto the ground.

Also, this

character can improve the quality of product

by permitting the seed to mature fully on the plant prior to harvest.

This character requires

that machines be used to remove the hull. (d)

Thin hulls.

The hulls of our types are thin and

otherwise suitable for mechanical hulling.


is not true of many indehiscent types. (e) Spinelessness.

We have genes for spineless capsules.

This character facilitates harvest by hand, and


possibly reduces damage by capsule diseases

in humid areas.




In addition to dwarfism, our types have an

arrangement of branches which permits harvest by machine, if (g)


Gens for Xield, and hybrid vigor. been bred for high yield.

Our inbred types have

Those yields have been

further enhanced by the use of heterosis in F1 hybridi

for commercial culture.

'With respect to machines for harvesting and hulling, we have experience with a complete range from very simple mechanical aides for hand harvest to very sophisticated machines which both harvest and hull. "Our experience also includes other means of increasing the efficiency of production, such as fertilizers, herbicides, defoliants and desiccants, market grades, etc.


seems that different areas of Thailand may require

different approaches to improved castor culture, depending on

climate, cropping patterns, requirements for mechanization, etc.

For example, since low humidity is required for mechanical hulling,

the benefits of !ndehiscence may be applicable only to areas of Thailand with adequately low humidity.

Come areas may need and

want a simple mechanfcal harvester,. whereas others may want only mechanical aides to hand harvest. "In some of the drier areas, our present inbreds and/or hybrids might be put into immediate use without change.


could be harvested either by hand or by machine, and with hulling done by machine.

The limited climatic data on Thailand now


available here indicate that some areas of Thailand have sufficiently low humidity for this type of culture.

"For areas where humidity is so high as to prevent mechanical hulling, dehiscent types must be used, with

harvest by hand and hulling by natural means.

For such

areas, much improvement in the local dehiscent varieties

could be achieved, however, by breeding into them certain

characters from our types such as earliness, dwarfism,

yield genes, and possibly spinelessness.

"All of the above suggests that, with proper approach,

Thailand can benefit from the castor technology and genetic

material now available.

The useful and applicable parts

of that technology will vary according to local conditions

such as climate (especially humidity) and farming practices.

"Phases to be investigated are:

(1) a study of

the climate and other pertinent factors in areas of

special interest;

(2) to specify the characteristics of

what would comprise the optimum variety for each area;

(3) to detail the steps necessary to produce, or otherwise

obtain, such varieties;

(4) to determine the proper degree

of mechanization for each area; and (5) to detail how that kind


of equipment can be procures."

The world trade in castor is increasingly in the form

of oil, and less in the form of the bean. Recommendations

on improving Thailand's agricultural economy with castor

culture should include the suggestion of local processing,

with advantages of increased income to the grower and in­ creased industrialization for the country.

VEGETABLES IN THAILAND. - Village and home compounds

throughout Thailand grow a selection of vegetable crops

for immediate consumption.

Also, Chinese market gardens

around Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and other cities in the

interior cultivate vegetables for urban markets.


commercial production of vegetablee is to be found in

certain areas along river banks, and are usually owned and

operated by Chinese and Vietnamese.

In recent years

limited vegetabl.e production by Thais has been developed

in Pak Chong, Phetabun and Chiang Mai.

Vegetables most frequently grown include: bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), cabbage (Btagica ol6ateea var.


Table 10 Output of Garden Crops in Thailand Mainly for Local Consumption

(000 tons) Crop

Chillies Onions Garlic Pineapples Watermelons Bananas* String Beans Eggplant Sweet Potatoes Pumpkin






8.8 8.8 12.4 91.3 19.6 325.5 7.5 31.2 66.5 13.4

12.6 14.2 18.5 148.6 30.4 357.0 8.8 35.7 106.8 16.8

27.4 41.3 33.9 450.1 116.9 645.6 22.6 50.1 129.9 41.0

40.1 36.6 35.9 288.8 185.5 796.0 34.9 62.7 164.9 96.3

35.6 31.9 29.5 300.8 194.5 1,243.1 33.4 47.4 156.1 70.5

* Includes all types of bananas


Ministry of Agriculture, Agricultural Statistics of Thailand, 1958 ­ 1965.


capitata), celery (A iumraveolens), coriander

(Coriandrum, sativum),

chillies (CaSidum app.),

cowpea (Vi&nA dineinsis)

1-meter long species, similar genetically to V.



eggplant (Solanum melongena), garlic (Allium dativum), lettuce

(Lactuca sativa),

lima bean (Phaseolus limeinsis),


(Phaseolus aconitifolius), mung bean (Phaseolus aureus),

onion (Allium cepa , pea (Pisum sativum), pumpkin (Cucurbita

spp.), Chinese white radish (Raphanus), rice Lean (Phaseolus

calcaratus), soybean (Glycine Max), sweetpotato (Ipomoea

batatas), app.)

tomato (Lycopersicon Asculentum) and yam (DiosCorea

Asparagus is presently a minor crop, with a definite

potential.' Generally, there is a need for germplasm of the best available improved varieties that have been specially bred for resistance to prevalent disease and insects.

These are

obtainable from experiment stations operated by U. S. uni­ versities, State or the U. S. Department of Agriculture. These include those for the subtropics, such as the Common­ wealth Experiment

Stations in Puerto Rico and the Federal

Experiment Station in Mayaguez;

also. in


and the

International Vegetable Research Institute now being established

in Taiwan.


there is

a need for improved cultural prac­

tices to determine the climatic and soil-environments, methods of pest control for individual crops.



Norman C. Glaze (P.328), suggests that the followingvegetable

crops could possibly be grown in northern Thailand:

Leaf crops Cabbage Chinese cabbage Chinese cabbage Collards Mustard Turnip Celery Lettuce

Scientific name Brassica olericea var. capitata Brassica chineusis Brassica pehinensis Brassica oleracea var. viridis Brassica juncea Brassica rapa Apium graveolens var. dulce Lactuca sativa

Root crops Onion Beet Carrot Potato Radish Rutabaga Turnip Sweetpotato

Allium cepa Beta vulgaris Daucus carota var. sativa Solanum tuberosum Raphanus sativus Brassica campestris var. napobrassica Brassica rapa Ipomoea batatas

Fruit or seed vegetables Sweet corn Okra Snap, lima, kidney beans Cowpea

Zea mays var. saccharata Hibiscus esculentus Phaseolus spp. Vigna sinensis


Solanum melongena


Capsicum frutescens var. grossum


Lycopersicon esculentum

Cucumber Muskmelon Squash Watermelon

Cucumis sativus Cucumis melo Cucurbita maxima Citrullus vulgaris

Seed of the preceding crops is probably available in small quantities

from the U.S. National Seed Storage. Laboratory. A better source would

probably be in other areas of Asia such as Taiwan, Japan or possibly

Australia. Investigators in these areas may also have some knowledge

about varietal differences within a crop.


Sources of germplasm of vegetable crops as suggested by Harold F . Winters (p. 329):





Obtained from village gardeners throughout the country.


Markets and bazaars.

Commercial Seed Companies: a.

Aegrow Seed Company International, Orange, Connecticut 06477.


Kilgore Seed Company, Plant City, Florida 33566.

c. Reuter Seed Company, Inc., 320 N. Carrollton Avenue, New Orleans,

Louisiana 70119.

d. Arthur Yates & Company Pty. Ltd., 244-254 Horsley Road, Milperra,




Sutton & Sons, Ltd., 13D Russell Street, Calcutta-16, India.


Takil & Company, Ltd., P.O. Box 7, Kyoto, Japan.


Vilmorin-Andrieux, 4, Auai de la Megisserie, Paris ler , France.

3. Governmental Aaencies:

a. U.S.D.A. - Howard L. Hyland, Plant Genetics and Germplasm

Institute, Beltsville, Maryland 20705.

b. Department of Horticulture, University of Hawaii, Honolulu,

Hawaii 96822

c. Seed Farm Division, Agricultural Experiment Station, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. d.

Jorge Leon, Plant Production an Protection Division, Food and

Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, 00100Rome, Italy.

e. H. B. Singh, Head, Division of Plant Introduction, Indian Agri­ cultural Research Institute, New Delhi-12, India.


Foundations - Perhaps they may not be ready to supply specific requests, but may do so eventually:


Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT),


International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), P.M.B. 5320, Ibdan, Nigeria.


Instituto Intermericano de Ciencias Agrfcolas, Turrialba,

Costs Rica.


Cali, Colombia.

Table 11 Production of Vegetables and Field Crops- / in Thailand

By Changwat (Province) in 1966

(See Fig. 2)

Changwat (Province)

Area Planted


Area Harvested (rai)

Production (Kgs.)3/

CENTRAL REGION: Angthong ............ 49,856 Bangkok ............. 50,105 Chanthaburi ......... 26,367 Chonburi ............ 797,082 Kanchanaburi ........ 250,180 Lopburi ............. 1,272,845

124,837 Nakhorn Pathom ......

Nonthaburi ........... 13,339 Phetburi ............ 156,544 Phichit ............. 503,687 Prachuap Khiri Khan.. 234,102 Rayong .............. 124,974 Samut Songkhram .....

31,788 Singburi ............

29,784 Supanburi ........... 287,910 Thonburi ............

54,638 Trat ................

19,183 Uthaithani ..........


49,515 40,011 16,293 794,952 243,5110 972,004 124,837 12,778 148,886 503,687 209,116 124,566 31,510 29,294 287,885 54,053 17,294 36,079

49,255,620 45,476,510 14,.802,730 2,812,500,480 283,830,950 269,933,160 237,251,440 14,74b,180 182,665,650 2J4,660,510 252,541,460 384,253,950 25,651,950 29,671,160 232,802,300 57,209,180 28,261,940 22,199,450

47,923 104,609 28,578 282,714 197,727 370,015 560,042 372,045 23,742 29,767 1,478,448 362,248 20,128 270, 109 363,193 324,681

30,759,699 155,487,550 17,602,100 140,188,370 124,977,920 212,638,320 438,311,250 196,014,100 15,820,700 35,469,210 498,849,165 143,002,180 15,863,870 233,264,900 142,170,610 142,218,670

NORTHERN REGION: Ayuthya .............

51,377 Chachoengsao ........ 105,599 Chainat .............

28,711 Chiengmai ........... 283,062 Chiengrai ........... 215.043 Kamphangpet ......... 377,458 Lamvang ..-.......... 564,970 Lamphun ............. 374,440 Mae Hong Sohn .......

23,742 Nakhorn Nayok .......

30,352 Nakhorn Sawan

1,512,433 Nan ................ 362,679 Pathumthani .........

20,128 Phetchabun .......... 283,209 Phitsanulok .........

375,264 Phrae ...............

326,598 l/

2/ 3:/

Excluding rice crop. 1 rai - 0.4 acre. I kilogram - 2.205 pounds.


Table 11 (cont'd.)


Area Planted (rai)

Area Harvested (ral)




Prachinburi ........ 106,274 103,714 58,353,180

Pathomthani ........ 20,128 20,128 15,863,870

Ratburi ............ 296,590 292,771 303,857,430

Samut Prakan ....... 35,849 35,849 40,974,000

Samut sao:horn ...... 133,149 133,149 113,624,200

Saraburi ........... 532,474 530,369 177,995,880

Sukothai ........... 566,655 537,507 180,475,070 Tak .... 53,530 48,210 46,351,830 Uttaradit .......... 136,562 127,908 107,644,335 ---------------------------------------------NORTHEASTERN REGION

Buriram ............ Chalyaphum ......... Kalasin ............ Khon Khaen ......... Loei .......... .Maha Sarakham ...... Nakhorn Panom ......

265,556 497,819 305,705 738,567 189,264 606,221 152,222

243,383 494,855 302,905 727,955 185,2246 575,8i31 116,494

Nakhorn Ratchasima..



Nongkhai ........... Roi-Et ............. Sakhorn Nakhorn .... Sisaket ............ Surin .............. Ubonrajthani ....... Udornthani ......... ---------m PENINSULA (SOUTH) Chumphon ........... Krabi .............. Nakhorn Sithamarat.. Narathiwat ........ Pattani .......... Pathalung .o........ Phangnga ..... o...... Phuket ............ Ranong ............



Songkla ........... Surat-thani ........ Trang ..............

Yala ...............

126,266 94,322 262,667 210,672 49,358 48,838 246,111 210,567 209,347 195,207 367,043 358,646 318,539 307,156 ------------------------------------­ m-----

35,994 13,192 124,949 80,690 23,668 20,270 42,348

34,745 12,824 124,398 76,773 21,405 20, 163 42,183 2,441 18,938 12,289 129,266 199,975 56,166 56,613

2,441 19,579 12,273 133,896 200,981 56,204 57,449



155,704,990 107,019, 40 209,149,880 64,226,430 183,031,305 70,041,640

734,051,590 57,237,100 93,736,120 33,138,410 88,196,330




24,159,385 12,196,850 114,697,590 7F,853,180












Table 11 (continued)


Summary of Total Proeuction of Vegetebles and Field Crops-


Area Pla ted

(rai) 2 7

Central ......



Northeast ....

Peninsula ....





4,062,691 (1,625,076 acres)



(1,482,512 acres) (517,999 tons)

6,816,284 (2,726,514 acres)



(2,666,229 acres) (4,674,896 tons)

5,549,632 (2,219,853 acres)



(2,058,279 acres) (3,377,557 tons)


(329,573 acres)


(323,232 acres)


(715,268 tons)

16,325,629 (6,530,252 acres)

9, 285, 720, 932 (9,285,721 tons)

17o252,541 (6j,901,016 acres)


Excluding rice crop


1 rai - 0.4 acre


1 kilogram - 2.205 pounds Source:

Area Harvested


Statistics on Cultivation of Farm Crops and Vegetables

(by Changwad).


Compiled by the Bureau of Statistical

Compilation and Biography. Agriculture.



Office of the Secretary of


Figure 14.

Experiment station at M~ae-.1o, northern Thailand.

PEANUTS-(Aradhis hygosaea).-

This crop has been gaining

ground in Thailand since World War II. acreage is in the Central Plain

About 50 percent of the peanut

and on the Southeast Coast; about

25 percent in Khorat region; 21 percent in northern Thailand; and 4

percent in the Peninsula.

During the period from 1957 to 1965,

production of peanuts (in shell) ranged between 108,000 and 152,0"

m. tons.

In 1966 production increased to 220,000 tons, and.

preliminary estimate in 1969 was 200,000 tons.

Peanuts in Thailand

are usually eaten after boiling in plain or salted water, or by dry

roasting the nuts, but the extraction of the oil for home consumption

is not commonly practised.

The area and output of peanuts in Thailand in 1969/70 were

700,000 rai (280,000 acres) and 200,000 m. tons, respectively. of the varieties grown are either Spanish or Valencia type.



varietal trials made over.a period of years the local Rayong and

Sukothai (provincial names) varieties out-yielded other local or

newly introduced strains.

Investigations on the yielding capacity

of 35 peanut varieties have been conducted since 1966.

In 1968,

only 8 varieties were selected for the trial at the Roi-et

Agricultural Experiment Station, in the Northeast.

The three high

yielders were Lonyum 6103, Lonyvum 6102 and T.S.D. 959, which pro­ duced 258, 254 and 244 kilograms of unshelled nut per rai, respectively.

During January-November 1969, Thailand exported 5,994 m. tons of peanuts,

compared to 4,589 tons in CY 1968.

The principal markets are:


Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan.

Exports of peanut oil

increased from 7,408 liters in 1968 to 244,245 liters in January-

November 1969.

A small volume of oil was imported in 1969.

Resistance to prevalent diseases and insects are needed in

new geraplasm introductions for increased yield.

MUNG BEAN(Phaaeolus aureus) and MATPE (P. adcitiflius).Total production of the two species in Thailand in 1969 was placed

at 140,000 m. tons.

The output in 1970 was forecast at 160,000

tons, or an increase of 14 percent over 1969.

Domestic consumption

ranges between 85,000 and 88,000 tons annually. Because of favorable market price, exports of mung and matpe

in 1969 increased substantially from 1968. of the increase.

Matpe accounted for the bulk

Exports in 1969 amounted to 51,257 m. tons, compared

with 27,323 bons in 1968.

Taiwan was the leading customer, followed

by Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia. portant customer in 1969.

Ceylon, also, was an im­

Total supply in stock in Thailand at the

beginning of 1969 was estimated at 185,000 m. tons, an increase of

7,800 tons over the previous year.

There are probably many morphological and ecological varieties of mung and matpe beans.

An annual herb, native to tropical Asia,

mung is one of the most important crops in Southeast Asia and India.

It matures rapidly, and several crops can be grown annually same land.

The seed varies in

on the

color from green to yellow or brown,

whence the local names "green" or "golden gram" applied to it. Because of high daily rate of growth, early maturity, and high yield


of green manure, it is suitable in crop notation as a prior or

a following crop.

Matpe is also an annual herb native to tropical Asia, has a

short maturing period, and is cultivated extcnsively in tropical

Asia as feed for livestock and green manure.

Its seed is dark

brown to black.

In Thailand, as in other Asian countries, the seed of mung and

matpe are used primarily for beansprouts.

They are served raw or,

after blanching, prepared in another form according to individual taste.

In Japan the seed most often used for beansprouts is a variety of matpe

from Burma.

Generally, beans of uniform size, with an admixture of

yellow, immature damaged seeds are acceptable. is the variety with large, round seed.

The best grade of matpe

Among mung beans, the small

seed is considered the best grade, while bright lustrous seed is

regarded as inferior.

In Japan the "adzuki" bean (Phaseolus antularis) is grown on a

commercial scale.

This species,

has been grown in Japan, Korea,

of which there are numerous varieties, China, and Manchuria for centuries.

The pods reach maturity in 30 to 50 days from the time of planting. The beans are eaten as a paste after boiling, or pounded into a fine meal and used for making cakes and confectionery. Mung bean improvement needs are varieties with broad adaptation,

high yield, resistance to shattering, resistance to prevalent insects

and diseasei, and improved growing practices by the producers.


Prospects for Mungbean Export in Thailand according tO News Synosais (Bangkok),

of December 22, 1971:

Sales abroad of Mungbean and Black Matpe in the ensuing recent months have never been brighter.

In November 1971 as much as

10,251 tons of both products were exported.

Mungbean accounted for

5,980 tons of the total against 1,106 tons a month earlier, and

Black Matpe for 4,271 tons against 4,602 tons in October.

In the first 11 months of 1971, 33,369 tons of Mungbean

and 36,128 tons of Black Matpe were shipped overseas as compared

with 38,400 tons and 33,873 tons in the corresponding period of

1970, respectively.

The regular export channels for Thai Mungbean and Black Matpe

are Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan.

Each of these overseas

markets take in a minimum of 10,000 tons annually. customers include Europe and the Arab countries. buyers are South Vietnam and Spain. with the trade it

Other regular Among prospective

From these closely connected

was learned that some contracts have actually

been entered into with Vietnam although Spain was still


on the sideline.

In November, the price of Thai Mungbean in Hong Kong was

around HK $75,00 per picul (1 picul - 133.25 pounds) against HK $65.00 per picul for its Communist Chinese counterpart.


wholesale prices of Ordinary, Large and Small Grain Mungbean in

November averaged 183.30 Baht, 188.50 Baht send 172.7'j Baht per


picul respectively.

Comparative prices in October were 230.80 Baht,

192.80 Baht and 172.85 Baht per picul respectively.

During the same

month of November Black Matpe's price averaged 123.85 Baht per picul as against 127.50 Baht per picul a month earlier. Normally, November and December mark the end of Mungbean harvest season when more of the product becomes available on the Bangkok market.

This accounts for the lower prices during this

two-month period.

Apart from the seasonal price fluctuation, there is also Lhe

price cycle to be reckoned with.

If prices soar in any one year,

they can be expected to decline in the following years.

And, when

they have reached their lowest point they will climb again.


phenomenon recurs once every 4 or 5 years.

Table 12 Progressive Wholesale Price

Mungbean Price Cycle 1948-1971

Baht/kilogram 1948-1952






























1971 (January-November)





Source: Agricultural Economic Division

Ministry of Agriculture

Department of Commercial Intelligence

Ministry of Economic Affairs


Prom the above statistical data it will be seen that the

average price in 1948 of 3.54 Baht per kilogram dropped to 1.94

Baht, 1.89 Baht, 1.83 Baht and 1.69 Baht per kilogram in the next

four years and rose again to 2.73 Baht per kilogram in the fifth

i.e. 1953.

Again in the period 1967-1970, the highest average of

3.33 Baht per kilogram in 1967 gradually declined to 2.97 Baht,

2.42 Baht, 2.80 Baht per kilogram and climbed again to 3.40 Baht

per kilogram in 1971.

This goes to show that the price cycle

is a recurring phenomenon.

Using this as a yardstick, the price of Mungbean can be expected

to go on a gradual decline between 1972 and 1975 and start climbing

again between 1976 and 1977.

The working of the price cycle will

be all the more remarkable between 1972 and 1975 for two reasons,

namely: (a):

Mungbean is one of th2 crops for promotion in the Third

National Economic and Social Development Plan, under which its

production is to be increased by 11 percent during the 5-year Plan$ i.e. from 300,000 tons in 1972 to 470,000 tons in 1976.


this target is achieved, it is possible that the price will go on a steady decline. (b):

There are indications that Communist China's export of

the product will expand in the years ahead.

This, coupled with

Indonesia's plan to boost production and export of the bean will

immeasurably increase world supply and usher in a period of price­ slump.


The causes of the Price Cycle are rather complicated and

difficult to explain.

Generally speaking, the price is influenced

by local supply and demand and the size of the export market.

What happens in one price cycle has a profound influence on the


If the price is high one year, planters will invariably

iucrease production in the next and conversely.

In the absence of

a proper marketing system and production control, the price cycle

with its intervals of price hike and decline will continue.


this is tzue of other agricultural products. COCONUT (Cocos xucifera).- This multipurpose palm is the most important, economically, of the several species growing in Thailand.

It occurs as scattered individuals in the interior, especially

in the Khorat region, and in the central and northern valleys,

far removed from its usual environment along the seacoast.

It is

abundant along the entire coast of the Gulf of Thailand, with the

greatest concentration in the southern part of the Peninsula,

especially on Samai Island, east of the city of Surat Thani. of the palms are the result of natural seeding.


But even where

purpoeely planted there are no large plantations comparable to

those in the Philippines, for example.

In recent years the southeastern provinces in the Peninsula

have been the most important producers.

In 1961, about 80,000

acres were planted in the Province of Surat Thani, equal to one-half

of the total area of coconut trees propagated in the entire

southern Peninsula.

No statistics are available on the current


nuber of coconut palms in Thailand, but about 10 years ago it was

estimated that there were approximately 28 million bearing trees,

with an annual production of 1.2 million m. tons of nuts.


tion of copra during the period 1960-69 ranged between 189,000 and

218,000 m. tons.

Ports 'of shipment on the east coast are Pattani,

Songkhla, and Bando.

Copra produced on the west coast is trans­

ported in small sailing boats from Phuket, Kantang, and Satun to Singapore

and Penang.

Copra from the Chanthaburi region, in the Southeast, is

shipped to Bangkok for export.

The coconut industry in Thailand needs to be revitalized to incrase the production of copra and oil.

With extensive sandy beaches,

where coconut thrives, but few other food crops can be grown, the planting of this palm, as a diversification crop, could be expanded appreciably.


is recomnended that a.gernplasm bank should be

established of domestic and introduced varieties to develop strains resistant to bud rot (Ph#to~hthora p.lmivora), which has caused exten­ sive damage" in recent years to coconut trees in the Pacific area; to evaluate the effect of fertilizer on yield; and to provide vigorous seedlings to replace old plantings and to establish new areas.


insect pests tbhat attack the coconut palm are the rhinoceros beetle (Oryctua rhinoderos), and the red-snouted beetle (RhVynohoDh6ra). Damage caused by these insects has resulted in the virtual disappear­ ance of the coconut palm over considerable areas.

As a consequence,

this palm is relatively scarce in western Thailand.




suggested that consideration should be given to

the propagation of dwarf varieties of coconut palm.

Of the

several varieties known to occur in Malaysia, one in par­

ticular is said to be outstanding, namely the "nyuir gading" (yellow or golden).

In Malaysia, under favorable conditions,

this dwarf palm flowers in the third year, and bears fruit 10 months later.

It is reported to be a prolific producer, and

when 6 years old the trees average 80 nuts annually.

The meat

is said to be richer in oil and sweeter than that of the tall varieties.

Because of its dwarf character, it is possible

to propagate nearly twice as many trees to the acre as of the tall coconut.

There is also, of cqurse, a considerable

saving in the cost of harvesting the dwarf palm. 10 feet tall are said to bear abundantly.

Trees only

These dwarf var­

ieties should be tested for performance in Thailand, as they repeatedly produce small fruit with thin meat, but the cooking qLality of the oil is not too satisfactory.

This was

reported by the Sawi Agricultural Experiment Station for coconut breeding.


FRUIT CROPS.-Fruit growing is one of the leading agricultural

activities in Thailand and has been in existence since remote times.

Fresh fruits always find a ready aarket throughout the country, and the

domestic demand is often in exceris of production.

The soils and

climatic conditions in various parts of the country are ideal for the

production of tropical and subtropical fruits.

Generally, it is

customary for the Thai to grow at least some types of fruit trees

around their houses for shade and to provide extra income from the

sale of surplus fruits.

Most of the fruits produced in the country are

eaten out of hand or served as desserts.

In some instances, such fruits

as durian, mango and banana are blended with specially prepared glutinous


Also, some fruits form ingredients in the preparation of ice


Favorite confections sold in the markets are often prepared

from fruits.

Cooked, dried and

pickled fruits are also consumed in

cuantity. In numerous localities, also, gardens and orchards produce

commarcial fruits to supply the local markets, as well as for export

to neighboring and even distant countries.

Pineapple, poselo, banana

and tamarind rank among the principal fruits exported, and leading

mrkets in the exterior have long been Singapore and Hong Kong.

In recent years, the desire of the people to grow more fruits

has increased appreciably in response to the efforts of the Thai

Department of Agriculture in encouraging the people to grow more and

better fruits.

To cope with the increasing demand for fresh fruits, for home con­ sumption as well as for export, the Department of Agriculture has promoted

fruit culture in some parts of the country.


Some limited measures taken

to encourage exportation are: obtain good planting material;

(1) some assistance to fruit growers to

(2) limited advice and instruction

to fruit growers on cultural practicea, pest and disease control and in

rendering service in spraying and dusting individual orchards;

(3) small-scale aid in securing insecticides, fungicides, pesticides,

spraying equipment and fertilizers; (4) a few new varieties of fruit crops

have been introduced;

(5) only a few nurseries have been established

for the multiplication of planting materials; and (6) some orchards

have been established for experimental studies and damonstyations.

At present there are two systems of fruit growing in Thailand,

namely the lowland and the highland system.

In the lowland method the

land is alternately ditched and ridged in a series of rows spaced at

a regular distance in order to elevate the land above the ground water

level, so that the roots of the trees can penetrate into the soil.

Seedlings are then planted on the ridges at the desired spacing and

water is applied from the side ditches.

Fruit gardens of this type are

found in the vicinity of Bangkok where the land is low and flooded period­ ically.

For the upland system, the preparation of the land and planting

of seedlings are conducted in the usual manner as practised by the

ordinary method.

While some type of fruits are grown in all sections of the country,

orchards are most extensive in the Central valley, in the Chiang Mai area1 along the Southeast Coast, and in the Peninsula where fruits form

an important source of income.

Suburban fruit gardens are clustered

along the right bank of the Chao Phraya river in Thonburi, opposite

the city of Bangkok. 4om khieo yan

Farther south and west of Bangkok mandarin

and orange (som kh_)


groves have been established on

former rice land which has been ridged and ditched.

Despite the

large number of gardens in this area, fruits of various kinds are

shipped from the Chantaburi region and elsewhere on the Southeast

Coast, and from the Peninsula to supply the domestic market and for export.

In the Northeast and Northwest, fruit is grown chiefly for

imnediate home consumption, and its availability in some villages is


One major commercial fruit area in the Northeast is

located west of Nakhon Ratchasima, where bananas, watermelon,

coconuts and other fruits are grown along irrigation ditches,.

In former years production in that area did not meet the local

needs, but fruit growing has expanded appreciably in recent years for

immediate consumption.

Also, the northern region is increasing in

importance as a source of fruits.

The most widespread and first in mportance among fruits is the banana (Musa paradisiaca var. sapientum) and its close relative, the plantain (Musa paradisiaca).

Both are probably indigenous to Thailand,

where they have been cultivated since antiquity.

Many varieties of both

bananas and plantains are grown at altitudes from sea level up to 5,000


Some produce a small fruit, up to about 2 inches long, in others

the fruit measures up to 12 inches in length.

Plantains and bananas

thrive on deep well-drained loam, and require a fairly abundant and well­ distributed rainfall. Irrigation is sometimes used as a supplemental source

of moisture. The most common variety of banana in Thailand is kluai 'ham wa. with a short, thick fruit, and angular in cross-section.


preferred variety is the kluai hom, which hat a fine aroma and superior

texture. A variety comnonly sold in the market is the small, thin­


skinned, egg shaped kluai k Mango (ManRifera indica thousands of years.

which is

popular in the Peninsula.

has been cultivated in Southeast Asia for

Its fruit has a delicate aroma, many varieties have

a luscious flavor, and the texture is also variable, according to varie­ ties and crop years.

Another popular and delicious fruit is mangosteen (Garcinia man­ 2ostana), indigenous to the Peninsula.

Regarded as one of the world's

finest flavored fruit, it has a snow-white flesh enveloped within

a thick purple rind.

A highly prized fruit is durian (Durio zibethinus), indigenous to th. Peninsula.

When fully mature, it weighs from 6 to 8 pounds, and

contains a yellowish, creamy flesh of very fine flavor.

However, its thick,

green rind emits a strong odor that many newcomers to the tropics find repulsive, although the Thai usually show no aversion. Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis,

jackfruit or khanun (A. integra),

and other species of Artocarpus have long been grown in the Central Plain and the Peninsula, where they are eaten by the poor. taneous trees or from casually maintained orchards,

Gathered from spon­ the fruit may be cooked

as a vegetable when unripe, or eaten when mature and fresh. Subtropical fruits also play an important role in Thailand.


fruits occur in all regions of the Kingdom. One of the most popular species

of citrus is the thin-skinned mandarin (Citrus reticulata), grown in

orchards in the Province of Chantaburi.

The most common orange is

known as som khieo wan, signifying "the orange which is sweet when

still green." This is grown in orchards in the provinces of Chantaburi and

Thorburi in the South, and Petchabun and Chianx Mai in the North.


Sweet orange (C..


known aS som klieng,is grown in

considerable quantities on diked padd- and freshly ridged land in the south­ western section of the Province of Thonburi. as s mr.hok,

grown in the Peninsula, is

The variety of orange known

characterized by a conspicuous Lime or manao (C. aurantifOlia),

knot of skin at the stem end of the fruit.

a delicious fruit used in beverages or served %ith other fruits, is

available throughout most of the year in the market, but is


expensive during the dry season. The most important citrus fruit in Thailand is (Citrus paradisi),

which resembles the grapefruit.

is considered among the finest in the world.

the pomelo or Eom o The Thai variety

The best pomelo is grown

in the Province of Nakorn Pathom, on saline soil high on contour or

raised beds in tideland marshes.

Pomelo trees are sensitive to soil

conditions, so that propagation outside of this Province often results

in an inferior fruit with an acid taste.

Considerable quantities of

pomelo are constantly shipped from Thailand to Singapore and China.

Better rootstocks are possibly the best method to improve yields.


Table 13 / Principal Non-perennial Fruits Grown in Thailandi

1957 Area Planted





1,000 rai2 /






































































































1967. Agricultural Statistics Division, Div. of Agric.

Economics, Ministry of Agriculture, Bpngkok, Thailand.


1 rai = 0.4 acre.


Table 14 Selected Fruits of Thailand; Type of Fruit

Area Planted 1966 1967 ....



Area. Yield. Production and Market Value

Area Harvested 1966


Yield 1966 1967 Kg-

1,000 Rai

per Rai

Production 1966 1967

Market Value

1966 1967

1,000 Tons

Million Bahti /












Water Melon











Sweet Banana











Numwha Banana







1,053.4 1,064.3





















Lady Finger Banana


Other Bananas

11 Source:

2/ Rai



Agricultural Statistics of Thailand, Div. of Agric. Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture, Bangkok.

0.4 acre

3/ 1 Baht - US$0.05 4/ 1 Kg. -- 2.205 pounds

Table 15



Garden Crops and Fruits of Thailand Quantity and Value 1950 - 1967


Vegetables (Dried Fresh) Tons

1,000 Baht

1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956

1,226 1,821 2,145 1,916 5,254 5,993 6,064

1,698 1,212 2,405 2,028 5,967 6,183 6,346



1958 1959 CA1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967

3,499 7,136 9,006 10,377 8,276 4,815 4,224 5,396 5,289 4,895 Source:

Oranges O eo /


Pomelos ot

Other Fruits (Fresh)

1,000 Baht


9,957 11,204 1,202 2,217 770 575

5,570 6,381 1,352 2,366 846 242 819

1,706 2,465 1,375 1,321 1,306 980


1,638 1,609 1,416 1,098 968 1,047 1,223

1,218 4,007 1,889 1,238 1,958 2,474 2,667





3,909 11,542 11,696 13,329 11,297 7,928 9,235 9,368 11,657 10,032


125 47 18 53 71 41 184 854 55 67


182 71 38 118 127 lbo 500 1,766 100 155

376 713 439 541 814 530 421 664 479 369

834 1,425 806 1,310 1,755 958 893 1,426 1,211 2,004

3,761 2,046 2,581 3,761 5,136 6,516 5,180 11,745 6,363 6,061

5,527 3,724 4,461 7,209 9,002 8,860 10,801 23,127 10,516 9,361

1,000 Baht


Agricultural Statistics of Thailand, Di-i. of Agric. Economics, Ministry of Agriculture, Bangkok.

2/ Baht - US $0.05.

1,000 Baht 1,743 3,631 2,718 1,796 3,535 3,779 3,546

TOBACCO (Nicotiana tabacum). - Traditionally, a market for U.S.

tobacco, Thailand is an important producer and exporter of flue-cured


Soils adaptable for light tobacco are limited, and the most

satisfactory are medium-textured alluvium in the northern valleys,

where teak trees grow spontaneously.

Expansion in tobacco growing

since World War II has caused appreciable destruction of second-growth

teak forests in northern Thailand.

Teak alluvium does not have a long

life of satisfactory yield for Virginia-type flue-cured leaf, and much

fertilizing is necessary to maintain production over a long period.

The bulk of the raw tobacco used in the domestic cigarette industry

is imported from the United States and other countries. tobacco of the following types is grown locally:

However, some

flue-cured, a Virginia

type of leaf; burley, a darker, sun-dried native leaf; and a Turkish

tobacco introduced for blending purposes.

Production in the 1967-68 crop

year amounted to 8,332 m. tons of flue-cured (dried weight), 583 tons

of burley, and 224 tons of Turkish.

In addition, an unknown quantity

of native sundried tobacco, possibly amounting to 20,000 tons, was

produced by farmers for their own or other local use.

More than 50 percent of Thailand's tobacco crop is grown in the

Chiang Hal valley, on level or slightly rolling land. crops for land in this area are rice and fruits.

Major competing

Flue-cured, a

relatively new crop in Thailand, is grown in the North and Northeast,

mostly in the Provinces of Chiang Mal, Chiangrai, and Phrae, with smaller

areas in the Provinces of Nakhon Phanom, Lampang, Nong Khai, and



Flue-cured tobacco is also planted in some areas on higher land

after rice.

Some burley is grown experimentally in the Chiang Hal region,

but most of the production comes from the Provinces of Phetchabun, Sukhothai,

and Tak.

For many years, Thailar.d has also been producing a native, sun-cured

tobacco for domestic and export maxicets,

Tobacco is generally grown as a

dry season crop, but in recent years Thailand has had some success with an

early crop set between September and November, and harvested during December

to March.

Some tests are being made to grow tobacco at the beginning of

the rainy season in certain areas on higher land.

Yields are low, but

quality is higher than early crop planted in September or during the dry

season in November - December.

In 1969 the total area under tobacco was approximately 159,000 acres,

of which 65,000 acres were planted to flue-cured; 1,200 acres to burley;

and 92,000 acres to the dark sun-cured.

Annual production of the native, sun-cured ranges between 45 and 48

million pounds; and flue-cured, between 44 and 45 million pounds.

The produc­

tion of burley is currently about 1.3 million pounds annually, and approximately 60 percent of this crop is grown on plantations of the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly.

Since burley is air-cured, it is usually harvested in the dry season.

Experiments are in progress to determine the optimum planting and harvesting periods. In 1968 Thailand's imports of tobacco leaf were 11,647 m. tons.


amounted to 9,866 m. tons.

Thai tobacco exports now almost equal in volume the U. S. shipments to Thailand, which in 1969 were 21.6 million pounds of flue-cured, and 2.7 million pounds of burley.

Thai exports during the same year were 18.4 million

pounds of flue-cured. 125

Most tobacco production work in Thailand is done by hand.


buffalo is used for plowing and for some of the cultivation and, as yet,

there are few tractors. producing-area.

Labor is relatively cheap in the tobacco­

Much of the work force reportedly would rather work

there at low wages than to migrate to Bangkok, where wages and living

costs are much higher. standards.

So the

l-nduction costs are low by Western

Also, the prices paid for the product to the growers are

about 1/3 to 1/2 those prevailing in the United States. were:

In 1968-69 they

flue-cured, 29 cents per pound; burley, 22 cents; and oriental,

19 cents.

The Thailand Tobacco Monopoly, a separate organization under the

Thai Government, has no control over the production of native sun-cured

tobacco, but has some control over other types, especially flue-cured.

TTh operates plantations or farms which supply flue-cured plants to


Under the guidance of the Monopoly and tobacco companies,

growers have been quick to learn the method of propagating flue-cured,

which gives a higher return than the native Thai tobacco, and to grow

two crops each year on land previously producing only one crop.

Thai growers produce and market the flue-cured in one of three


Under one plan, farmers are financed and directed by TTM.


tobacco is hauled to one of the TTM's central curing stations, where it

is sorted and processed in flue-curing barns.

It is than graded, packed

in 165 pound bales, and transported to TTM's cigarette plant in Bangkok

for redrying and storage.

Under another plan, farmers arrange with


individual curers who are under contract with TTM. sell the product to TTM under a quota system.

The curers

Because of

current demand for flue-cured tobacco for export, the Thai Government also allows curing to be done by a third group-­ individual curers not under contract to or controlled by the Monopoly. The government-owned Thai Tobacco Monopoly, the sole

producer of cigarettes and cigars, procures tobacco for its

factories from its own plantations in north and northeast

Thailand and also from private planters and processors to whom

it gives financial assistance for the purchase of fertilizers

and other production needs.

The Monopoly permits farmers under its direct supervisIon, and who can afford the expense, to build a maximum of two flue­ curing barns, and to produce and sell their cured tobacco, instead of green, to the Monopoly.

In addition, several

tobacco companies buy and redry the leaf, chiefly for export. LAC.--Known commercially as lac or sticklac, this resinous exudation is a secretion deposited by a scale insect, Kerrva lacca (Kerr),

that thrives on the sap of certain trees

and shrubs frequent in Thailand, Burma, Laos, and India. The minute young lac insect, or crawler, finds a suitable place on a twig, or branch, inserts its beak into the plant tissue, grows, and secretes a resinous material, which ultimately


The thousands of crawlers settle side by side, -nd

covers it.

the resinous secretion builds up around them and completely encases

the twig.

Most of the crawlers develop in about 3 months into

females, which occu-,py small cavities in the resinous mass and

from which they never escape. the

The males emerge and fertilize

females through the small openings which extend to the

surface of the encrustation.

As the eggs develop in the body

of the female, she assumes a saclike, bright-red appearance.

The red pigment is female dies,

the source of the lac dye of commerce.

the eggs hatch,


the crawlers escape and move to

a nearby uninfested part of the twig, and the process is repeated.

The largest yields of lac and dye are obtained by harvesting the

infested twigs while the females are still twice a year, about June and November. known as stick lac.

That is


The enc,7usted twigs are

About 40 million pounds of the material

are harvested each year.

The stick lac is

crude mortars, and then washed. is called seed lac.


ground, usually in

The resulting granular lac

The fine particles are molded into

toys and ornaments, and the wood is used for fuel.

The seed

lac is then washed, melted, and spread out in a thin layer.


Originally, lac was collected from host treesgrowing spontaneously

in the Thai forests, such as "phaeng" or "sa-kao-na" (Combretum quad­ rangulare), "kwng" or "yoi-bai-laem," (various species of Ficus), and

"tong-khwao" (Butea

oosperba).As demand for the commodity increased,

collectors began to propagate suitable trees around their houses, to

serve as host plants for this insect.

Pigeon pea or "thua-rae" (Cajanus

calan) is also frequently grown as a host.

Of exotic trees, one of the

most widely used is the large "rain tree" (Pithecellobium saman), native

to northern South America, and which is often planted in northern

Thailand for shade or as an oniamental (Fig. 3).

Several years must elapse after planting before the trees can be


By contrast, the pigeon pea may be planted in May or June, at

the beginning of the rainy season, and inoculated in October, when the

plants have reached a height of up to 10 feet.

To prepare the trees or

shrubs for the formation of lac, the branches are "seeded" with colonies

of scale insects, that multiply rapidly.

The insects are less active

during the dry, cool season, but within about 6 months some of the twigs

may be thinly covered with a layer of resin, and in the following May

sections free of lac may be reinoculated.

The main crop is formed

during the moist, warm period of the rainy season.

About 18 months

after the initial inoculation the host plant will be well encrusted with

lac, and is ready to be harvested.

Production of lac on the pigeon


pea as a host plant is particularly favorable, can be separated readily frn

the twigs.

as the product

The shrubs are

destroyed at harvest time, and a new crop must be grown.

For decades,Chiang Mai, Lampang, Phrae, and other com­ mercial centers in the north have shipped considerable

quantities of sticklac. There is also some production in the

Khorat region, especially in the vicinity of Ubonratchathani

The product is

also sometimes brought by pack train from

Luan, Phrabang

and Pak Lai,

in northwestern Laos,


shipped by road or rail to Ubonratchathani or Bangkok.

At these

centers, sticklac is ground, sorted to remove the twigs, wood,

bark, and other impurities, then washed, and packaged for export.

Most of the semi-processed material is then exported to the

United States and Europe for the preparation of shellac and

varnishes, also for molding records, and as material for


It is suggested that this home industry should be investigated in depth, with the view .of improving the method of production, and increasing output of lac. FORESTS AND FOREST PRODUCTS.--Of the country's total area

of about 200,000 square miles, approximately 60 percent (120,000

square miles) is

covered with primary or secondary growth.

There are three major forest zones:


evergreen rain or

humid forests of the southeast, the central part, and in the

southern peninsula; (b) the Korat plateau in the northeast,


Figure 15. Mixed semi-deciduous forest containing teak (Tectona arandis) and other commercial timbers, on the slope3 of Doi Inthanon,

northern Thailand.

in parts dry to arid, with extensive stands of Dipter­ ocarp, Mixed Deciduous,

thorn forests,

and bamboo brakes

interspersed with savanna and rice flelds; and (c) the

mountainous northern and northwestern region, extnnding to

the border of Shan States and Burma, covered by Dry Dipterocarp forest, Mixed Deciduous,

in which teak

(Tectona Arandis) is often a characteristic species,

or Montane forests, in which oaks and pines, mixed with

other tree species, are the most characteristic (See Fig. 15).

The forests of Thailand constitute an important and

valuable resource.

They supply raw materials for saw mills

and other timber-based industries, and yield many minor

forest products, such as resins, and insoluble gums that

contribute to local industries, as well as for export.

Teak from the northern forests has for many years been an im­ portant export product, recognized throughout the world for

the excellent quality of the timber. All the teak forests,

.as well as other forest sources of timbers, are the property

of the Thai Government, which grants concessions to private


Before World War II about 85 percent of the timber

production wes in Lie hands of foreign firms, about 14 percent in the hands of Thai operators, while the Thai Government retained only 1 percent.


But during the past 20

Figure 16.

Teak 'ree (rectona'grandis) grown at Sayok Forest Station,

west-ctutral Thailand. 133

years there has been a reorganization and a strong movement to increase

the government's share of the forest operations.

In addition to teak, the Thai forests produce many valuable woods,

such as rosewood (Dalbergia cochinchinensis) and ebony (Diospyros mollis).

Among the most frequent timbers are the

Dipterocarps (of the Philippine

mahogany family), of which there are many species, and are considered

useful. for general construction. is "yang" (Dipterocarpus alatus).

The most frequent and useful species

According to my investigations, there

are about 80 timber species in Thailand suitable for pillars, posts, and

poles; more than 50 species are classed as useful for flooring, panels,

and partitions; others are adaptable for the manufacture of furniture,


and shipbuilding, and railroad crossties; several woods are suit­

able for carving and turnery, tools and tool handles, or for farm vehicles;

while a number of woody species occurring in the mangrove woodland have

long been esteemed for charcoal and fuelwood.

Bamboos are probably the most abundant and indispensable in the Thai


Bamboos are used for a multiple of purposes, such as for the

construction of houses, shade around farmhouses and hamlets, to erect

fences, gutters to irrigate rice fields, planted to arrest soil erosion,

and some species provide raw material for paper pulp.

Bamboo brakes are most extensive in the upper Thai Peninsula, and

extend to the northwest along the Maeklong river, formed by the junction

of the Kwae Yai and Kwae Noi rivers.

As a rule they are ready colonizers.

Some are fire resistant, and others difficult to eradicate.


Figure 17. One of the largest and most frequent trees in Thailand is "rae yang"

(Dipterocarpusalatus). Note large hole at base of trunk, opened and burned to

extract oleo-resin.


There are many species of rattans (Calamus), generally found in

moist sites or along banks of streams in humid forests, especially in

the southern part of the Peninsula.

For many years rattans have been

exported from Thailand to Singapore, Hong Kong, and other centers in

Asia for the manufacture of furniture.

The harvest of timber and wood products from the forests of Thailand

in 1966 was about 4,100,000 M, roads and charcoal.

half of which was fuelwood for the rail­

The total value of wood and forest products was

about Baht 1,500,000,000 (US $75,000,000) in 1966. The value of timber

and forest products to the Gross Domestic Product in 1966 was Baht

2,372,000,000 (US $118,600,000), according to the 1968 Yearbook. Total

3 productionms projected to be 4,600,000 M in 1971. The growth and yield

of timber and the wealth it creates could be greatly increased by silvi­ cultural practices and fire control on the nation's forest land. They

could also be increased by encouraging farmers to utilize poor agricultural

land for woodlots, and by assisting the Hill Tribes to plant trees on

their farm plots before they clean new forest plots for tilling.

Although Thailand, historically, is an old country, it is new in

lUnd development. Virgin forest land is being cleared and converted to

agriculture much as was done in the United States when people were migrating

westward and clearing forest land for farms and settlements.

This pioneering

is taking place all over Thailand at one time, instead of against a receding


Traditionally, in Thailand public land is given to settlers

free of charge, with the only stipulation that certain kinds of trees belong



I-a La) -. 1


Figure 18.

A 15-year old Teak plantation near Thak, northern Thailand.


to the government.

In order to control land clearing, land settlements,

and to prevent misuse of land and timber, certain controls and regulations

have been instituted.

Throughout the country, areas have been designated

as reserve forests, and are closed to settlement.

These areas are

primarily valuable for timber production, watersheds, wild life refugee,

national parks, and for public recreation. cent of the country's land area.

They constitute about 50 per­

Although in general these reserved areas

are mountainous forest types, they contain some land, especially in valleys

and along streams, that is suitable for agriculture.

Establishment of the

reserved forest areas is similar in motivation and action to our establish­ ment of national forests and parks.

Clearing land, settling, or cutting

timber without a permit is prohibited by law on the reserved forest areas.

For the unreserved forests only the protected tree species are controlled

by the Royal Forest Department.

The rapid growth in population and the resultant demand for farmsteads

has made it difficult, and in places impossible,,to develop the land according

to plan.

Many people encroach on the reserved forest areas. They also

settle on unreserved forest land before the timber has been logged, even

before it has been declared open to settlement.

The government recognizes

the need to inform the people about conservation of the forests, and the

importance of the wise use of water, timber, and soil resources for the

overall well-being of the nation.

Areas inhabited by Hill Tribes are usually within reserved forest

areas, designated as permanent forests.


These forested hills have-been

Figure 19. Bamboo brakes are frequent as succesional growth, Middle Khwae river basin.

along banks and in forest clearings.

their traditional home for centuries, and they have a long established

way of life.

It would be practically impossible to evict or to resettle

all of them and adapt them to a new way of life, exc,Pt possibly over a

long period of time.

In the meantime, they offer a valuable low-cost

labor source, and their agricultural practices could, with proper

guidance and encouragement be utilized for the benefit of forest and

watershed resources.

This type of cooperation with the Hill people and

some supplemental employment in forestry projects would contribute to

their income, and would have the desirable potential of developing friendly

relationship with them.

Raw Material for Paper Pulp.

Bamboos are among the most abundant

and widely used plants in Thailand, and some of which are suitable as raw

material for paper pulp.

Of these, Bambusa vulgaris has long fibers, com­

parable to our Southern pine, and has superior paper-making characteristics.

Research conducted a few years ago indicated that Phyllostachys bambusoides

is apparently suitable for dissolving pulp and structural board, and may

be appropriate for making newsprint-type papers. indigenous to Thailand, but germplasm

This species is not

could probably be obtained from

the Plant Introduction Station at Savannah, Georgia.

As a supplementary source, it


suggested that germplaasm

of three

species of American pines should be introduced, namely Southern pine (Pinus

palustris), Slash pine (P. caribaea), and Loblolly (P. taeda).


would be propagated in the northern provinces, especially in the region of Chiang Mai and on the Loei plateau, where the two native species.- P.


.Figure 20. Coastal mangrove stands are a rich source of fuel, mainly charcoal, for domestic use and ex­ port to neighboring countries.

merkhusii and P. khasya - occur.

Some of the American species could also

be planted in the central section of the Peninsula.

Restoration of Teak Forest.

As a result of overcutting in former

years, and the extensive destruction caused by the primitive slash-and­ burn method of clearing plots of land to grow crops, widely practised

by the Hill tribes, the stands of teak and other useful timbers, in the

more accessible areas, have been so severely denuded that in a few years

commercially valuable timbers, especially teak, will be scarce.

It is

recommended that the reforestation program should be continued.


should be made to establish a germplasm

bank of strains of teak (Tectona

grandis) to be gathered in various areas in the north, as well as pro­ curements made from external sources in Burma, India, and even from

Tz.inidad, where plantations are now in production.

One of the fastest growing trees, and which is native to Thailand,

is Anthocephalus cadamba.

It has a soft wood and attains mature dJen­

cions in about 15 years; the timber can be used for general construction,

carpentry, crates, and other uses, and further research is necessary to

determine its suitability for paper pulp.


Table 16 Output of Major Yorest

Products in 1967-69 (Tn thousands of cubic






Teak ...............












Other woods


............. 1,604




.. 562





1/ Estimated Source:

Bank of Thailand, Annual Economic Report, 1969.



Figure 21. Considerable areas of forestland, as on these slopes of Doi Suthep, have been slashed

and burned ('swidden' or 'rai'system) for shifting agriculture.

FISHERIES RESOURCES.-The aquatic resources of Thailand are abundant and varied, and have long been extensively utilized.

Fisheries rank next

to agriculture in extent and value among the basic industries of the


They are of three-fold importance:

as a source of protein food;

the means of livelihood for a large proportion of the population; and a rich source of revenue to the Thai government.

About 60 percent of the

farmers catch fish for their own table. Fish and fish products play

an important part in the country's foreign trade.

It has been estimated

that the annual output of all fishery products is approximately 1,300,000 m. tons, of which 1,200,000 tons are marine, and 100,000 tons fresh water.

About one-half of the total amount is consumed fresh, and the other half processed into salted, dried products, sauce, paste, etc., either for home

consumption or for export.

Fishing is conducted throughout the country in rice fields, swamps,

canals and ditches, ponds and irrigation tanks, rivers and lakes.


equipment used depends on the nature of the waters and the kind of fish

sought. Thailand is beginning to have its share of water pollution

-from insecticides, industrial waste, and kenaf retting water. This is

beginning to take its toll on fresh water fish.

The inland waters of Thailand produce fish in great varieties and

abundance, possessing a high food .value and usually of excellent flavor.

Some are typical of Thailand, others have a wide range extending from China

to India and throughout the Malaysian Archipelago.

Some species have

peculiar habits, such as the fighting-fish, climbing-fish, and shooting-fish,

which have made them celebrated throughout the world.

Some have a special

respiratory apparatus, by means of which they can breathe atmospheric air,


and thus are able to withstand protracted drought and drying-up of waters

in some sections of Thailand.

Examples of these are murrels or serpent­

fish, climbing-fish, and certain species of cat-fish.

Fish that are most numerous and abundant as to species in the fresh

waters are members of the carp family.

The common carp (Cyprinus carpio)

and other Chinese carps have been introduced for pond culture, but are

not established in open waters.

In the Bangkok area there are a number

of carp ponds, and where this fish is intensively raised. importance is the group classed as cat-fish.

Next in

In Thailand cat-fishes

comprise a large number of species, some of which are abundant, widely

distributed, highly esteemed, and consumed in large quantities. Other common fresh-water fish sold in the market are species of featherback, a large eel, and gobies. Fish that spend a part of their lives in the sea, and the remainder

in fresh-water for spawning or feedingare represented by sea-bass, con­ sidered among the best and largest of the local spiny-rayed fish; many

species of mullets; and the culturable milk-fish.

Sea-bass, to a limited

extent, and milk-fish have been cultured for many years in brackish water

ponds and enclosures.

Tribes of gobies are also plentiful in coastal areas.

Marine fishing is more important than freshwater fishing.

The seas

around Thailand, especially the Gulf of Thailand and its shallow inshore

sections, are outstanding fishing grounds. time a lowland plain.

The Gulf of Thailand was at one

Consequently it is a shallow sea, in some sites

seldom deeper than 150 feet, and into which sediments carried by the Chao


Phraya river and a number of coastal streams are deposited. Gulf is rich in plankton, and fish thrive in its waters.

So that the

Among them are

some of the best and, commercially, most valuable fishes of tropical seas.

Some are wide roamers, others are free-swinuning forms which have regular

migrations affected by, or coincide with, the monsoons.

Some are shore

and bottom species, and are somewhat sedentary and do not migrate exten­ sively.

The world-wide group of herring is well represented in-Thai

waters by many genera and species.

Some are found in great abundance, and

are important because of the varied uses made of them. spicuous

Another group con­

for itj abundance, and economic value, is the anchovy.


mackerel family, widely distributed in temperate and tropical waters, is

well represented-in Thai waters.

Some species are considered among the

most valuable of the marine fish of Thailand.

Other kinds of marine fish,

in abundance and of many species, sold in the market are mullets.

In addi­

tion, there are various species of soles, flat-fish, sharks, saw-fish, and

numerous others.

The catching.of sharks is a profitable but dangerous

occupation, as shark fins fetch a high price in the market.

Swordfish, up

to 20 or 25 feet in length, are also sometimes caught.

Of amphibians, the most valuable is the green turtle (Chelonia mydas),

that invades sandy beaches, usually on islands, to lay its eggs, regarded

as a delicacy.

The land tortoise (Trinonyx cartilagineus) is also much

valued for its meat.

In the seas around Thailand there occurs the hawk's

bill turtle (Chelonia imbricata), that furnishes the valuable tortoise-shell.

Large lizards or monitors (Varanus) are fraquent in rivers and swamps.


There is a limited trade in their skins, while their flesh and eggs used as food in the rural areas.

Two species of crocodile



the large

Indian (Crocodilus porosus) and the smaller, more common Thai crocodile

(C. siamensis) - abound in both fresh and salt waters.

Their hides are

made into attractive, durable leather goods, and as the result they have

been hunted extensively, and their numbers reduced considerably in some


Frogs are abundant, and some attain large size.

The type known as

"kob" is widely consumed, and usually available in the Bangkok and other

markets during the rainy season.

The hindlegs are highly esteemed by

both Thai ani foreign residents.

Second to fish in importance and abundance are the molluscs.


minent amojg these, and used for human consumption, are edible mussels,

bean clam, cephalopods which include squids, cuttle fish, and octopods.

Mussels are gathered in great quantity.

Important sources for these and

ark shells are in the inner gulf in the vicinity of Petchburi, Prakarn, and

Cholburi provinces. top-turban- witidow

Sea shells of industrial importance include pearl-shell,

pane-, and pearl oyster-shell.

Shrimps occur in great quantities, and probably in no other country

are these crustaceans iound in such profusion. The large, long-legged prawn

is caught in great numbers in freshwater.

In estuarine areas and on the

coast large quantities of the small prqwn are gathered for preparing a paste

or "kapi", while many species of Peneus are caught either for fresh consump­ tion or to be processed into dried products which command a high price in

the market.


According to figures published by the United Nations Food and

Agricultural Organization, the total fish catch, including fresh and

salt water fish, shellfish and other forms of marine life except

whales and seals, in Thailand in 1970 was 1,600,O00 m. tons.

For comparison, the fish catch in other leading countries during

the same year was as follows: China

5,800,000 tons


1,700,000 tons


9,300,000 tons


3,000,000 tons


12,600,000 tons**

South Africa

1,500,000 tons

Soviet Union

7,300,000 tons


2,700,000 tons

**Most of the Peruvian catcl. consists of anchoveta, which is

processed into fish meal for export.



The weaving of fine silkcloth has been a home industry The revival of the cotton textile in­

in Thailand since ancient times.

dustry in Thailand has not been matched in recent years by a similarly

There is still reluctance among

strong revival in the silk industry.

some of the silk weavers to abandon traditional methods in favor of production on a modern commercial scale.


Progress is being made in improving Two high yielding local varieties,

yield and quality in silkworm breeding.

P.C. 21 and N.K. 4, which belong to the poly-voltine group were crossed to a Japanese-b-voltine single cross, N124 x C124, resulting in new varieties of the poly-voltine group.

The problem of pebrine disease, the most serious

of silkworm caused by a protozoa, still defies


Since farmers can

produce eggs themselves the disease is easily transmitted through the eggs, which makes it impossible to control.

Recently, the breeding program of

silkworm has been planned to produce new hybrids from the Japanese-bi-voltine group only.

Advantages of such a program are:

(1)bi-voltine hybrids fur­

nish higher yields; (2) control of egg production makes it difficult for farmers to produce eggs themselves; and (3) eggs distributed to farmers will be free of the pebrine disease.

The Sericulture Experiment Station will be

the sole distributor of the new hybrids to farmers, and thereby it is expected that pebrine will be eventually controlled.

Production of silk

should be expanded in the northern, northwestern and northeastern parts of the country, and among the Hill tribes.

Thai silk is a commodity that is

growing in popularity in the world trade. According to the U. S. Agriculture Attache's report on the "Agricul­ tural Situation in Thailand" (January 23, 1970),

there were 44 mulberry

varieties, of which Mon Noi, Mon Ta Dam, and Mon Mi produced the largest quantity of leaves. Most varieties were susceptible to root rot, caused by an unknown organism, and only Mon Pai, Mon Som and Mun Sum Yal were varieties found to be resistant.



Minor and Potential Crops






This Palm should be

adaptable to the climatic and soil conditions of south Asia as

indicated by the extensive plantations established in recent years

in Sumatra and Malaysia.

It produceo a higher yield of oil per

acre than any of the other oilseed crops - the oil being of two


The fruit is covered with a pulp of varying thickness, and

contains a large proportion of fatty oil, known in the trade as

"palm oil" or "pulp oil." Within this pulp the hard nut, containing

a kernel or "seed," furnishes a fatty oil different in composition

from that of the pulp and is known industrially as "kernel oil."

Palm oil is considered to be one of the world's most important

vegetable oils.

Solid at normal temperatures, it ranges in

consistency from that of soft butter to a hard, tallow-like

substance. It varies in color, depending on the efficiency of

extraction from pale yellow to a deep orange. The mesocarp

contains from 50 to 65 per cent of oil, and some varieties contain

even higher proportions.

It is extracted by pressure from the

mesocarp of the fruit.

Palm oil is used to a large extent in the manufacture of

soap, and is utilized also in the textile and rubber industries.

Further use is made in the manufacture of lubricating oil, candles$

tin plate, and in the cold-reduced sheet steel industry. of Africa it finds extensive use in cooking.

In parts

The oil can be

bleached, and the.better grades are made into margarine and for

vegetable shortening.


Palm kernel oil is obtained from the seed or kernel, after the

mesocarp has been removed and the endocarp is split.

It is white or

pale yellow, differing in properties from palm oil, and occurs in

the seed to the extent of 44 to 53 per cent.

It is used principally

in the manufacture of soap, of glycerin and margarine.

Palm oil

cake or palm kernel cake, the residue left after the oils have been

extracted, are in demand as cattle feed in the United States and


A product of less value than the kernel cake is "kernel meal."

This results from a process wheriby the kernel is ground fine after

pressing, and the residual oil extracted with solvents, such as


The meal is practically free of oil as compared with kernel

cake, which contains 5 to 8 per cent.

I am told that there is a small, private planting of this'palm

north of Krabi.

It should do well in the southern section of the

Thai Peninsula, in the area around Trang, Haadyai, and Narathiwas.

Also, the Province of Chanthaburi, on the Southeast Coast, appears

to be suitable for this crop.

This is now a major crop in Malaysia.

During the 1960's Malaysia

jumped from a small producer and exporter of palm oil to one of the

world's largest.

It is expected that by 1974 Malaysia will have

nearly 1 million acres devoted to this palm, more than double the

acreage of 1968.

In addition to increased acreage, the productivity

of the oil palm has risen dramatically.

Through research conducted

by the Department of Agriculture in Kuala Lumpur, new varieties have

been developed.

The new DP variety (deli x pisifera) is capable of



Figure 22.


A high oil-yielding variety of oil palm (Elaie

guineendis) developed at Oil Research Institute (IRHO), Pob-,

southeastern Dahomey, West Africa.


producing 1.5 to 2.0 long tons of palm oil per acre annually, compared with older varieties which yield from 0.75 to 1.0 ton.

Virtually all plantings set down in Malaysia during the

past 15 years have been the new DP strain of oil palm. Depending on location, soil, and other agronomic factors,

oil palm begins to bear fruit 3-1/2 to 4 years after planting. The peak production period is from the tenth through the

fifteenth year.

The economic span of this palm as a hource

of oil is approximately 25 to 40 years.

Efficient tree manage­

ment contributes substantially to the palm's life span.

Research made in Malaysia in recent years has also led

to the development of a more efficient method of oil extraction,

resulting in a higher yield from the fruit and kernel.


of the different varieties of this palm could,

no doubt, be obtained from the Department. of Agriculture in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; also from the Palm Oil Institute near Ibadan, Nigeria; and from the Institut de Recherche de Huile Oleagineuse (IRHO),

at Pobe, southeastern Dahomey.

World Production of Oil:

Despite the disastrous fall in

the world price of rubber, some of the bigger estates in Malaysia are turning in record profits.

The explanation was

given in a recent statement by the Chairman of the Kulim Group Ltd., a British organization with extensive holdings

in Malaysia.

He told the shareholders that the further


substantial rise in the group's profits during 1970 underlined

the advantages gained from the conversion of a large part of the

former rubber areas to oil palm cultivation, resulting in

a rise in profits in one year from that source from $218,000

(11,118,000 baht) to $693,279 (35,357,229 baht).

World production of palm oil rose from 187,000 tons to

345,000 tons between 1966 and 1969.

In 1971 it was expected

to be over one million tons, and by 1980 annual production

will probably be 2-1/2 million tons, of which one million tons

will probably come from Malaysia. Thailand's contribution to

the golden flood will be negligible.

Rather late in the day, Thailand is now showinR an

interest in oil palm cultivation in the southern provinces, where

the soil and climate duplicate that of the northern states of


But by the time Thailand enters the world market,

it will already be dominated by other


At present, oil palm cultivation is limited to a number of self-help settlements in the South, covering an area of some 8,000 rai, and a private estate of 10,000 rai.

The self-help units were launched by a Cabinet decision

in mid-1960, to encourage a movement of people into the thinly populated southern provinces of Satun, Yala and Narathiwat. The Public Welfare Department, Ministry of the Interior, was charged with the administration of the program.


After a series of studies, the Department decided to

encourage settlers to cultivate the oil palm, and chose Satun

for the main settlement.

In this province there are about

20,000 rai of land suitable for oil palm. Further plans of the

Welfare Department envisage another 1,000 femilies moving onto

this land, each family receiving 10 rai for cultivation.


is a three-year, 24 million baht project, of which one year

has elapsed.

An Export Crop:

Meanwhile, Thailand continues to import

palm oil for local industries.

The biggest single consumer

is Lever Brothers (Thailand) Ltd., who bring in palm oil from

Malaysia for the manufacture of margarine and shortening at

the company's factory in Tanontok, Yannaw district.


to the director of the factor), Mr. Krasae Paseepol, 90

percent of their requirements of palm oil must be bought from other countries.

Total palm oil imports into Thailand in 1969 were

616,000 litres valued at 3,553,288 baht (U.S. $176,664).

This is not a very large amount, in the context of

Thailand's total imports and the development of the oil palm

industry here must be regarded not from the aspect of import­ substitution, but as a potential export. The Manderstam

Plan for Thai exports, recently drawn up for the Board of Investment

by a group of British consultants, strongly advocated government


action to create a vegetable oil industry.

The ManderstaM Plan supports

the forecast of an expanding international market for palm oil, palm kernels and palm kernel oil, the three basic oil palm products. points out that the Japanese,


in particular, have rapidly increased their

import of these products since 1966.

The Manderstam report points out other advantages.

Oil palm demands

soil and climate conditions which are found in the right combination in southern Thailand.

The rubber industry in

It Is in urgent need of diversification if and unemployment.

The oil palm industry is

this area is it

chemical weed killers.

is to avoid a severe recession


operations require large numbers of workers,

in the doldrums.



even with highly efficient

The traditional weeding process, called

"changkoling" in Malaysia, requires

hand-picking of weeds, while a modified

system uses rotor-movers to decimate two-foot wide strips between the rovs of oil palms. Feasibility Study:

The-4frican oil palm is not as exacting as the rubber tree and requires little doubt that it

attention once it

has reached maturity.

could be grown successfully in

There is little

southern Thailand.


definitive report on the problem of setting up the oil palm industry in Thailand was published in December 1968 by the Ministry of Overseas Development in London for the Thai government.

Entitled "Oil Palm

Feasibility Study", It was prepared by Hunting Technical Services Ltd., as a Colombo Plan project.


The planners of this big firm know that the world market for palm oil is almost certain to expand, and that world production is limited by certain invariable factors, the most important of which are soil and climate. A locally based firm, the Pum Patina Co. Ltd., has applied for permission to build a palm oil factory in Satun province near the self-help plantations.

They envisage an investment of 10 million baht, some of which

would be subscribed by Malaysian citizens.

Although the application was

made a year ago, no official decision has yet been handed down.

The 10,000 rai private oil palm estate referred to earlier is operated by the Oil Industry and Palm Oil Estate Co. Ltd., trees are already fruiting.

in Krabi.

Some of its

However, there is no oil mill on or near the

estate, and production will have to wait for this facility, which may be completed early next year. The palm oil industry in Thailand has been overshadowed by many delays.

The most important delay of all is in the formation of a clear

guiding policy.

The Hunting Technical Services Report was submitted

about five years ago to the Department of Agriculture.

The long silence may

be due to the amount of money involved. A government decision to invest

on the lines of the British feasibility study would require an allocation

of about 40 million baht.

Thailand's slow start in the oil palm

industry may have already cost it a valuable slice of a world market

worth hundreds of millions of baht.


Reviewing the potential growing area in the Kra peninsula in terms of physiography, soil, vegetation, climate and surface geology,

it focuses on a 17,000 rai tract known as Krung Yan in Nakhon Sri

Thammarat province.

The plantations, factories and workers' quarters

would all be integrated in an industrial complex, which, according

to the'report, would demand high-calibre management with specialized

,knowledge of the oil palm industry. The planting season in Krung Yan would predictably be keyed to

the monsoon, but the variability of the dry season in the south will

present some difficulties. At least four years of growth would cul­ minate in a January harvest.

The plan embraces a pilot project with

a factory of limited capacity costing 22.5 million baht, spread

over eight years.

Modern factory methods, including centrifuges,

hydraulic and screw presses would bring palm oil extraction efficiency

up to 94 percent.

For the infrastructure, the feasibility study points out that an

internal railway system would be the most efficient way of moving

the crop from the fields to the factories and from the factories to the distribution network.

In general the report, which goes into

detailed cost analyses and market surveys, confirms that oil palm is a feasible and desirable crop for southern Thailand.


TEA (Thea sinensis - Camellia sinensis).--Climatic conditions

in the northern parts of Thailand seem to be appropriate for the cul­ tivation of tea.

Wild tea shrubs or small trees occur in mountain

forest regions in the higher rainfall belt of the Asiatic tropics. The plant probably originated in China, where it is of very ancient cultivation.

Relatives of the plant also foxzm a part of the hillside

vegetation in other subtropical to tropical forested areas such as Burma, northern Thailand and Indonesia.

Tea may be divided into two

major groups: Chinese tea, the variety, bohea, with small leaves about

3 inches long,aad Assam tea, variety assamica, with larger leaves, up to 12 inches in length.

These varieties cross and Chinese-Assam

hybrids are grown around Darjeeling, in northern India, and Ceylon. Tea shrubs are usually less than 4 feet when pruned, but if unpruned they reach a height of 30 feet or more.


The flowers are

white or pink, and the fruit has 5 seeds, about 1 1/2 inch in diameter.

Propagation has always been by means of seed, with the

result that the plants show a very wide range of variability and lack of uniformity. A form of tea-culture is practised by the Miao, Tin, and Lao (Thao) people in the mountains of northern Thailand, especially north and east of Chiang Mai, and farther east, around Phrae.

Wild tea

trees in these forests furnish leaves which are ensiled to make miang tea.

This type of culture has been used for centuries throughout

the Shan States, Burma, China, and Northern Thailand. The mountain people thin out the surrounding forest growth to allow the small wild tea trees to develop. 161

The trees bloom at the



Figure 23. Tea shrubs (Camellia sinensis) grow semi-spontaneously on mountain slopes of northern Thailand, mush as this scarp of Chiang Dao, north of Chiang Mai.

beginning of the rainy season, and soon after, in May or June, new

leaves develop.

When harvesting, two-thirds of the leaf is snipped off,

and the remainder is left attached to the petiole to permit the leaf

to continue functioning.

The broken leaves are tied in small bundles

and steamed over boiling water in a wooden cylinder with perforated


Fermentation is induced by burying the wet tea leaves in the

ground and a refreshing acidity develops.

When needed, ensiled or pickled tea, mianx, is removed from the

ground, packed in baskets, and transported by pack train through the

hills to merchants in the lowlands.

Northern tea leaves are also used

to make an extract used as a mixture with fish paste, known as kapi,

which is sold throughout the Kingdom, and is an important ingredient

in many Thai dishes.

Thai people rarely drink "black" tea, although

Chinese residents consume large quantiti.es of "green" tea, imported

from China and Taiwan.

While some of this is brought by sea, a

portion is believed to be transported by pack train from southwestern

Yunnan, on Mainland China.

In the last few years an enterprising Thai, the late Nai Phrasit, was developing a tea plantation in the highland, about 15 miles north of Chiang Mai, on the west side of the road to Chiang Dao. of the output was marketed in Bangkok. successful.

The project appeared to be

Unfortuntely, Nai Phrasit passed way about



Figure 24. Tea tree (Camellia sinensis), when growing wild, grows up to about

9 m, but is pruned and kept low to facilitate plucking of the leaves. Near

Phrae, northern Thailand.


3 years ago, and it is not known what steps have been taken to preserve and maintain the plantation. Tea growing, on plantation basis, should be an attractive and profitable occupation for the Hill people.

One important and

favorable factor in developing this crop would be that the hill

tribes could probably be induced to decrease, even eliminate opium

production, and to plant tea bushes instead. propagated by seeds, cuttirgs or buddings.

Bushes may be

Clones are preferred

since the planting stock is genetically uniform.

But the

method generally used is to plant the seed, with the result that

tea shrubs exhibit variability in yield.

Tea seed should be

stored in tightly closed containers, and kept in a cool place.

Injured or inferior seeds should be eliminated, and can be readily

detected by placing them in a pail of water.

Those that float

are discarded.

Unless irrigation is available in the nursery, the seed is

usually planted at the beginning of the rainy season. The germ­ ination period, which is usually two to three months, may be reduced

by peeling off the seedcoat or by soaking the seeds in water for 12

hours, and then expose them to the sun.

The seeds are set 1 inch

deep in a germination bed with the "eye" down in order to obtain


a straight taproot.

The seedlings when three to five inches

tall, are transferred to a nursery bed, 2-3 feet wide. The

seedlings should be spaced 8 x 8 inches in the beds. When

set out in the field, the seedlings should be planted at

intervals of 4 to 5 feet each way. The tea plant grows best on well-drained acid soil.

In subtropical regions it


able to withstand temperates

below freezing during the dormant period.

When cultivated on

hilly slopes, measures have to be employed to control soil erosion, such as contour planting, and the building of dikes and terraces.

Some trees, such as Leucaena leugopephala, Albizia

falcata, Derris microphylla and Erythrina subumbrans are grown for shade in the nursery as well as for field planting. Cover crops, including g

hosei, Indiofera endedaphvlla,

Centrosema pubescens, Pueraria phaseoloides and Calodo6ponium mucunoides, are also grown to prevent erosion.


COFFEE (Coffea spp.).- Coffee is a popular beverage in Thailand,

and coffee shops are found in every village and town throughout the

cuuntry, and along the highways and canals.

Soil and climatic conditions

in the southern section of the Peninsula, in the Southeast, and in upland

areas in the North, seem appropriate for the cultivation of this crop.

There are some small coffee plantings in the rubber area around Trang.

Several years ago, experiments in coffee growing were also made in an

area north of Lampang, on deep red granular


Unfortunately, the

plantings were neglected, many of the bushes were destroyed by fire, and

the results were inconclusive.

In some established producing areas, high grade coffee is obtained

at altitudes of 4,000 to 5,000 feet, where the temperature ranges between

160 and 200 C.

A high proportion of the Brazilian crop is produced at

elevations of 2,500 to 4,000 feet, while high yields of sun-grown coffee are obtained almost at sea-level in Hawaii.

Milder coffees are obtained

from high elevations in Costa Rica, Colombia, El Salvador, and Guatemala.

Varieties that grow well in Latin American countries include:


Pacas, Mundo Novo, and Bourbon.

The Caturra variety is easy to harvest

and is adapted to close 'pccing.

The INEAC variety of Robusta coffee,

which is native to East Africa, is a good yielder.

Coffee thrives in a deep, well-drained soil that is neither too

heavy nor too light.

Volcanic loams are considered ideal for this crop.

Although coffee is grown under shade in many areas, at present ther' is

a trend away from this type of culture.


Experiments conducted in different

parts of the world indicate that sun-grown coffee bushes, when fertilized,

yield appreciably more than shade-grown.

Trials conducted in

Puerto Rico and Ecuador have also shown that closely spaced coffee shrubs

give a higher yield than those widely spaced, in addition to reducing

the labor cost for weeding.

Also, fertilizer requirements for coffee

vary with different environmental conditions, so that field trials are

necessary to determine the correct fertilizer practices of a particular


Robusta should grow well in the rubber-growing area with fairly

high precipitation in the southern Peninsula; and arabica should be

best adapted to higher elevations in the north.

In selecting germplasm

of coffee for introduction, factors to be

considered include: broad adaptation and resistance to prevalent insects

and diseases, especially rust; also size of cherry; yield; content of

caffeine, niacin, and oil.

Aroma and uniformity of ripening are also

important factors.

Suggested sources of germ plasm are: Inter-American Institute of

Agricultural Sciences at Turrialba, Costa Rica; the Coffee Research

Station at Lyamungu, Tanzania; the Kawanda Research Station, Kampala,

Uganda; the Central Research Station, Mysore, India; and the International

Coffee Rust Laboratory (Centro das Ferrugens de Caffeiro, Estaigo

Agronnica Nacional)ppeiraq, Portugal.


While coffee has been grown in Thailand for many years, it never become an important crop.

Most of it


(Coffea canephora) grown at lower altitudes.


of the robusta type Local production es­

timated at 125 tons for the three years prior to 1968 fell far short

of the estimated 5,000 tons that were imported annually during that same period..!/ Thus,

there is a ready local market for all of the

coffee that could be produced for some time to come. Arabica coffee is soon to be introduced in a pilot project on the slopes of Doi Inthanon, Thailand's highest mountain.

Here the

Association for the Conservation of Wildlife (ACW) is sponsoring the Doi Inthanon Opium Suppression Project (DIOSP) to teach the Meo and Karen methods of cultivating coffee.-/ Also, it is my understanding that a Chiang Mai University team is participating in a program of research and production on Arabica coffee as well as other crops. It would be of utmost importance to incorporate, from the start, rust-resistant varieties in any coffee trials attempted there since coffee rust (Hemileia vaatatrix) is widespread throughout the area.


resistant varieties would also be a valuable addition to these tests since borderline temperatures are encountered at the higher altitudes. The U. S.

Department of Agriculture, under the sponsorship of AID,

maintains at the Miami Plant Introduction Station a germplasm collec­ tion of approximately 250 varieties of Coffea arabica. Most of these

have been screened for resistance to rust, and at least one variety is

resistant to all the presently known races of the rust. varieties are resistant to one or more races.


Many other

The collection has also been evaluated for resistance to low

temperatures with varieties found which will survive 290 F.4

AID could hssist greatly in the opium poppy replacement projects

by making known to Thailand the existence of this collection, and by In­ forming them that materials are available to them in the form of seeds and

rooted cuttings merely by directing a request to the Plant Introduction

Station, Miami, Forida, through the AID Mission, Bangkok.

References used in the above information are as follows:

1. Bulletin of Narcotics, 20(3):7-17.


2. The Nation (Newspaper). Bangkok, December 4, 1971.

3. World Coffee Survey.

FAO Agricultural Studies No. 76. p. 388-90. 1968.

4. Evaluation of Cold Resistante in the Genus Coffea. P. K. Soderholm

and M. H. Gaskins.

1960. Proc. Caribbean Region, Amer. Soc.

Hort. Sci. 4 p. 8-15.

The following appeared in the Bangkok Post, on July 30, 1970:

"Police Colonel Nirandorn Jayanama, the governor of Chiang Mai,

has been very successful inpromoting the production of coffee among the

hill tribes. The first plantation, comprising 3,000 coffee trees, produced

some 592 kilograms of coffee beans, and brought a zeturn of 12,000 Laht

to the hill tribe farmers.

Some 36 families have since increased their plantations to 100,000

coffee trees.

These trees are expected to produce coffee beans in three

years' time.


The total coffee experimental area is about 10 ha.

The present

program of work includes observations on newly imported varieties and studies on shading, mulching and spacing. The following officers are responsible for coffee work in Thailand:

Somboon Na Talang, Director of Rubber Division, Department of Agriculture, Bangkok Scribo Chaiprasit, Rubber Division, Department of Agriculture. Chna Suvaranat, Nabon Rubber Estate, Nabon, Suratdhani, Roem Purnariksha, Chief Technical Officer, Department of Agriculture, Bangkok. It is

thought that additional technical advice would be useful in

the implementation of Thailand's present coffee research program, particularly in the selection of most suitable varl.etici and improvement of cultural methods.

Preliminary technical assistance had already been furnished in 1955 by Baron Goto, Director,

International Cooperation Center, Honolulu,

Hawaii* Of particular interest .to Thailand's coffee industry are PAO projects, in promoting international exchange of breeding material and cooperation on basic research problems. In view of the efforts now being made by the local Department of Agriculture and considering the favorable

reaction of farmers towards

the coffee expansion campaign, a gradual increase of coffee production is

foreseen, which in due course might supply enough for home consumption.


,.Police Colonel Niramdorn said that he would also promote the growth of coffee trees by the farmers in Chiang Hal, since coffee will bring them a good income. C. A. Krug, Agronomist,

Tropical Perennial Crops, Plant Production

and Protection Division, FAO, Rome, comments as follows on general

aspects of Thailand's coffee industry. Coffee has never been an important crop in this country, and nothing is known about the introduction of the first coffee seeds.


is grown mainly in the extreme south of the Peninsular area, as well as in the north and southeastern region. coffee


The largest concentration of

about 100 ha - is in the Chana township of Singora.


is the predominant species, but some Arabica and Liberica.(or, according to 0'Rourke (41), C. Devevrei var

excelsa?) are also found there.

This crop is mainly grown around houses and associated with other trees, particularly coconuts and bananas, which furnish suitable shade. Only on a few rubber estates have small plantations recently been establi .hed, which are usually unshaded. has beei, very severe.

In many of these, wind damage

It was estimated that in 1957, altogether some

1,000 ha were planted to coffee, of which only about 200 had reached the bearing stage. As about 3,000 tons of coffee were imported annually, an amount

which was expected to increase, the Department of Agriculture launched,

in 1957, a coffee growing campaign, hoping soon to be able to satisfy

the needs of its internal consumption.

The purpose of this campaign was

to improve standards of production on existing plantations and to increase


Thailand's coffee area to 12,000 ha.

Extpansion of coffee would also

create new employment for many rural people and improve their living standards by providing them with a new cash crop.

There are tens of

thousands of smallholders who could add coffee to thair orchards of fruit trees, coconuts and other trees.

A drive was also being made to

avoid extending coffee adulteration with Tamarind seeds. The emphasis was laid on Robusta, but certain areas are also suitable for Arabica. strains which had

Where Hemileia occurs (3),

already been introduced

the resistant Indian

were to be tried out.

Coffee is planted on various kinds of soils - in Singora mainly on sandy clays and sandy loams.

No erosion control measures are thought

to be necessary, and only cattle manure or bat guano are used by more progressive growers as organic fertilizers. In the main coffee producing area, the average annual rainfall is around 2,300 mm; February and March are the driest months.

The average

annual temperature is 270C. As coffee is mostly grown close to the farmer's house, young seed­ lings are often irrigated by hand labor

during the dry months.

No information is available on coffee varieties grown, but it is thought that all Arabica belongs to typica.

Baron Goto (3) mentions in a

report a purple leaved mutation called "glutinous coffee" which occurs in the Songkla Province and which might be the purpurascens type described by Cramer.

The Department of Agriculture was establishing its Robusta nurseries for seedling distribution mainly with mass selected seed derived from


local plantations; some of this seed was also furnished directly to farmers. About 93 different varieties and strains of Arabica, 5 of Robusta and 7 other species and hybrids were introduced for trial plantings.

No pruning is

done, except that some farmers occasionally cut

their old trees back in order to promote the development of new growth.

Among diseases and insects, Hemileia vaatatrix, the coffee borer (Stephanoderes hampei?)

and scale insects disseminated by ants are the

ones which cause any damage.

With regard to the leaf rust, some areas

have been found to be free of it. With regard to coffee processing, an interesting observation was made by Baron Goto (3),

in the Songkla Province.

Farmers boil the coffee

cherries before depulping, in order to remove easily the mucilage. There is no Experiment Station devoted exclusively to coffee, but some coffee plots have been established in the following Government­ owned Stations: XI)

Hai Chong Rubber Station, Krabi, Southern Thailand, at an

altitude of 60 m, for Robusta trials.

(II) .Kohong Rubber Station, Songkla, where Robusta is planted

according to the hedge-row system, alternating with double rows of



Priew Experiment Station, CheAdbury,

Southeast Thailand,

at 45 m altitude, for both Robusta and Arabica trials, and (IV) Fang Experiment Station, Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand, located at 525 m altitude, for Arahica trials.


Frederic G. Meyer (p. 329) who collected germplasm of coffee species in Ethiopia, writes as follows regarding the potential increase of production in Thailand: It


assumed that coffee already exists in Thailand.

What is

needed consists of further recommendations on how they might up-grade coffee into more importance than it is at the present.

With a free­

floating market in coffee now, the various coffee-producing countries

are no longer obliged to conform to a quota system, as they did up until

a short while ago.

With the upsurge in instant coffees, I do nbt see

why Thailand could not be almost self-supporting in its coffee


It would be mostly a matter of expertise to accomplish

this aim. Coffees of potential economic value in Thailand would most probably consist of the following kinds:


Coffea arabica (subject to coffee rust);

2., C. caneohora (robusta coffee), rust resistant; 3. C. liberica along with its close relatives C. devevrei and C. exdelsa (the liberoid L'Affees), all rust resistant. C.


arabica coffee


Nearly 75 percent of the world's commercial coffee comes from arabica


This is of first importance for cup quality, and therefore

it brings the highest prices.

Limiting factors affecting the growing

of arabica coffee are: (1) altitude, (2) coffee rust (Hemileia vastatrix),

and (3) soil.

Arabica coffee grows best between 4,000 and 6,000 feet

altitude in the tropics.

In Kenya, the best arabica coffee is raised


between 6,000 and 7,000 feet.

Coffee rust can be a prnblem and is

apparently known to occur in Thailand.

However, they should try to

introduce all of the highly rust-resistant varieties of the Kent

coffee from south India.

Kent coffee is a hybrid of somewhat less value

as to cup quality than straight arabica.

It is widely cultivated

throughout south India, because coffee rust is indigenous there and

straight arabica can hardly be grown at all.


suggest that the following sources should be contacted for germ­

plasm of C. arabica, although there are other places where material

coulU be obtained:

1. R. L. Narasimhaswamy Coffee Board Research Department Mysore, India (For Kent hybrids)


Senior Research Officer

Coffee Research Station

P. 0. Box 4

Ruiru, Kenya

2. L. M. Fernie Coffee Research Station Lyamungu P. 0. Box 3004 Moshi, Tanzania


L. C. Monaco

Genetics Department

Instituto Agronomico


S. Paulo, Brazil

Germplasm of robusta coffee

Director of Research

Centre de Recherches Agronmiques


Ivory Coast (Cate 4' Ivoire)

'my recommendation would be to obtain a fairly large number of high producing

selections and try them out in varioun parts of the coutitry at the correct

altitude and site.

Arabica coffees prefer fairly acid well-drained soils.

.The highest production comes from plants grown in full sun) but the expense

is greater and plants are shorter lived than plants grown under shade. would be decirable to introduce selections of known productivity rather

than untested materials.



Robusta coffee (C. canephora):

'"obusta coffee is a low altitude plant from central and west Africa

The cup quality of robusta

that grows best below 4,000 feet altitude.

is lower than arabica, but the plant is immune to coffee rust.


is regarded as a cheap grade of coffee that is now being used more and

For this reason, there might be a good potential

more for instant coffee.

market for robusta coffee in Thailand, at least they might grow enough

for their own needs without too many problems.

Liberian coffee (C. liberica, .dewevrei, excelsa)­ "This grows as a large tree and should be considered of use only

around dwellings and for small holdings. to a height of 6 feet for picking.

Commercially it can be pruned

in parts of central Africa this coffee

is grown extensively for local consumption. to Scandanavian countries.

The only outside export is

Liberoid coffees are rust resistant and


tolerate somewhat more neglect and drought than either arabica or

In a communication dated February 7, 1972, P. K. Soderholm (p,329) writes

as follows:

Most opium poppy is cultivated in Thailand at altitudes between

1,000 and 1,600 meters.

The lower range limits are imposed by the

climatic requirements of the species, and, while it will grow above

1,600 m., there is actually very little usable land above that altitude

in Thailand.


The hill tribes of the Meo and Yao are the principal growers

of poppy.

The Meo in particular practice a system of slashing and

burning the natural vegetation to clear the land for their poppy


The crop is grown on this land year after year for 5 to 10

years. or until the soil becomes so depleted in fertility that it will

no longer produce a crop.

Consequently, the tribe is forced to

abandon the fields and move

often great distances, to relocate in

an area where virgin land is available.

Such areas are becoming

more and more difficult to locate.

Forced mobility of the tribes and soil depletion are not the

only problems created by these primitive agricultural practices.


erosion also is a serious result of intensive clean weeding among the

shallow rooted poppy plants.

Accordingly, a crop which will allow the tribes to remain stable,

prevent erosion, and at the same time bring a high return, is a must

if poppy growing is to be replaced successfully.

Coffee has this potential.

Being a tree crop, the deep rooted

plants, under proper cultural practices, would retain both soil and

soil moisture, the tribe would have to romain in place to tend the

long-term crop, and according to recent reports a high cash return

could be realized.

Also, climatic conditions at poppy growing eleva­

tions should be ideally suited to the culture of most varieties of

Coffea arabica,

It has been estimated that a hill tribe growing arabica coffee

on 25 rai (1 rai - 0.395 A) could realize, during the fifth year, an

average yield of 50 kilo per rai to bring an income of approximately

28,000 baht (U.S. $1,400) based on current ChianjMai Drice per kilo of robusta coffee..


of 22 baht

CACAO (Theobroma cacao).- This crop should do well In southern Peninsula. Malaysia has a project to establish cacao plantations on an area of 20,000

acres, through inter-cropping in

coconut holdings under rehabilitation.

Under the coconut improvement scheme, this project will be conducted during

1971 through 1975.

If the project is successful, inter-planting of cacao

could perhaps be extended in established tree crop areas of rubber and oil

palm, which now jointly account in Malaysia for about 5 million acres.

Experimental inter-cropping of cacao with oil palm is now being conducted

in Sabah, Eastern Malaysia.

The potentials of the "forastero" variety are considered favorable

in mainland Malaysia, where major tree crops account for nearly 80 percent

of the total cultivated area of approximately 7.2 million acres.


land within this area of established tree crops will provide a substantial

acreage for inter-planting of cacao av a minimum expense, compared with the

cost of developing new lands for the same purpose.

The "forastero" variety matures in the second or third year after

planting the seedlings.

It is not an exacting crop to grow, and the

processing of the bean does not entail a high degree of skill.


farmers could readily learn the methods of cacao cultivation and processing.

Another significant aspect of cacao growing is its propitious future.

The FAD has projected that the world demand for cacao will reach the 1.8

& million ton mark by 1975.

This represents

an increase of about 500,000

tons over the 1970 world output of this commodity.

This increase will have

to come from 3 to 4 million acres of new plantings.

This extensive acreage


of new planti~tgs is not easily available even under the most ideal conditions.

Furthermore, it augurs well for Thailand to propagate cacao in the ParA

rubber and coconut regions, because of the predominance of small holders

in these areas.

Also, this new development in cacao cultivation would

enable Thailand to utilize more intensively its land resources, and to

diversify further its agriciltural economy through the cultivation of a

rajor crop, which is in demand both nationally and internationally.

The following recommendations are submitted by

Ernest P. Imle,(p.526)

Assistant Director, International Programs Division, ARS:

Cacao as an export crop and for limited internal consumption should

be considered as one of the possible diversifications for Thailand's


Some trials have been made in this country with cacao,

and a few introductions of new plant materials were made in the 1960's.

The fate of these new introductions is not known to the writer but

probably can be verified through the AID offices in Bangkok.

Much of the area where rubber is grown would be suitable for cacao,

although the latter crop is more demanding of good soils. cacao tends to be seasonal.

Work with

It might fit well into the other agricultural

enterprises as a diversification, depending upon the time of the peak

harvest season.

The greatest market is for base grade beans rather than for flavor


The world price differential favoring the latter is very little

and often nonexistent.

The price differentials enjoyed by flavor beans


often apply only to those coming from places with old, well-established

reputations for a special flavor. It would be futile probably for a

new producing area to undertake to develop a flavor bean reputation in

the hope of getting a special price.

Selection of planting stocks should be made on the basis of yield,

resistance to diseases and insects, and market grade acceptability.

A review of the trees already in the country should be made to see whether

any types show superior performance.

If they do, and their origin can

be traced, this will be a guide for multiplication of planting stocks

and procurement of additional material.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Federal Experiment Station,

at Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, maintains a large germplasm

collection of

cacao, with financial support from the American Cocoa Research


This collection can supply initial stocks of budwood and

seeds for trial plantings under conditions completely safe from drngers

of importing new diseases or insect pests into Thailand.

S .R-S can be

obtained also in larger lots from the University of West Indies,

College of Agriculture, St. Augustine, Trinidad, and from One Inter-

American Institute at Turrialba, Costa Rica.

From tlese last two

places, however, only seeds, not vegetative material, should be imported.

Since cacao is a crop of the warm tropics, it should nQt be tried

at any elevation above 2,000 feet. Lower elevations are preferable.

Any planting program should be guided by some qualified agency which can

import seed or produce it in certified seed gardens.

-This agency also

could produce seedlings in nurseries and give edvic6 for their handling.

Supervised test plantings should precede any appreciable program of


planting by private farmers.

A country program should aim at a volume of at least 5,000 tons

for eAport if they want to take full advantage of world prices. will require at least 10,000 acres of good cacao.


If Thailand beans

can reach the world markets in sufficient volume, year after year, and

achieve a good, standard, consistent level of quality, and, if they are

properly fermented, they will be well accepted.

However, if they

are available in too small quantity and are not consistent in grade

year after year, they may be in disfavor with buyers fr'om the beginning;

and it will be hard to overcome a market prejudice in spite of later


Bean samples for quality assay can be submitted for

study to the Technical Committee of the Chocolate Manufacturers of


If the crop is to be planted at all, therefore, a plan should be

developed for a total of at least 10,000 acres, well-managed and

serviced with credit, extension, and advisory ser-ice. should precede by above plan, eicept

Test plantings


:iyears the full implementation of the


.:easwhere there may be sufficient cacao already

being grown to evaluate its performance and future.

No single grower should be encouraged to have more than one-fourth

of his land devoted to cacao in order to avoid overdependence on a

single crop.

One to four heztares is usually manageable by the labor

available within a single family.

No single area, however well-suited

1A 9

it may be for the crop, should be encouraged to plant more than 10 to 25 percent of the suitable land to cacao. The crop is an excellent one from the standpoint of soil protection

and of the general ecological situation.

Properly managed, no sunlight

reaches the ground in a cacao plantation.

Destruction of soil organic

matter is delayed, and erosion is prevented or reduced. The shade tree canopy can be made up of trees selected for other secondary uses, such as an eventual timber crop, and the shade tree prunings become a source of firewood.

As with all tree crops, there is a tendency to tie the

farmer to his land and to reduce dependence on destructive, shifting, clear and burn agriculture. BLACK PEPPER (Piper Rigrum).--Pepper has been grown in Thailand since antiquity, and is a crop that should be expanded in that country.


pepper was one of the major -commodities sought by early European traders,

and was reported to be the finest grade obtainable at the time in Southeast

Asia. In 1835, 4,630 tons were reported to have been exported. gut towards

the close of the past century the Thai pepper trade began to decline. During 1925-29 annual exports averaged only 752 tons, and by 1954 pepper was being imported. Since 1949 statistical publications do not list the crop.


Pepper is generally cultivated as a garden crop.

Many people in the

Peninsula and in the Southeast Coast keep a few pepper vines for home


The best soil is a red earth from basalt, which is found in a small

area southwest of Chanthaburi.

Another favorable area is Trang, in the

rubber-growing region in the Peninsula. The soil is worked to a depth of

at least two feet, and cuttings are planted 3 to 6 feet apart, end shaded

against srong sunlight. from the time of planting.

The vine begins to bear fruit within 3 years

The period of greatest yield begins in the

sixth year, and the vines continue to produce for about 15 years.

Two forms of the spice- black and white pepper the fruit and seed.

are obtained from

Black pepper consists of the dried ground fruit

(peppercora), and white pepper consists of the dried ground seeds. are several well known grades in commerce, new germplasm


of which should

be introduced into Thailand. Lampon, black pepper, obtained from southern

Sumatra, is considered to be the most popular grade.

Its flavor is more

pungent than aromatic.

Tellicherry Black pepper, from the Malabar coast of southern India,

is classed among the finest grades.

Its flavor is characteristically

aromatic but less pungent, and is reddish brown. The corm is large enough

to be sliced.

For this reason considerable quantities are shipped to Italy

to flavor sausages of the salami type. Penang black pepper resembles the

Lampong grade.

Saigon black pepper, produced in South Vietnam, is exported

mainly to France.

Muntock white pepper is produced on the Island of Banka.

This is the most popular grade of white pepper consumed in the United States.


PULSE CROPS. - Legumes rank among the earliest crops to be cultivated

by man, and have long been important sources of foodstuffs.

Although grown

in smaller quantities than staple cereals, their contribution to world

supplies of nutrition, especially the protein component, is considerable.

The protein content ranges from 17 to 25 percent in the dry grain, and

even up to 38 percent in soybean, while the range in cereals is from 6 to

14 percent.

Three leguminous crops - peanut (Arachis hypogaea), soybean

(Glycine max), and mung bean (Phaseolus aureus) - figure prominently in

the agricultural economy of Thailand, with production sufficient to meet

the present domestic needs, and to provide a limited surplus for export.

Some leguminous plants have tuberous roots.

For example, the tubers of

the "goa bean" or "winged pea" (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus) are eaten in

Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands.

These tubers £-esemble other tubers

and roots in nutritive value, providing starch but little protein.

The following are some of the most widely cultivated grain food

legumes, some of which should be adaptable to the drier sections of

Northeastern Thailand, others to the more moist northern upland region,

and still others to the southern Peninsula.

PIGEON PEA (Cajanus cajan). propagated as an annual.


A short-lived perennial, and also

Grown in tropics and subtropics of Africa and

is widely cultivated in India and Pakistan.

Maturing period is 7 months.

Is resistant to drought and high temperature. CHICKPEA, BENGAL GRAM (Cicer arietinum). - Grown in tropical and

subtropical regions of Africa, and is widely cultivated in India and

Pakistan as well as in the Mediterranean countries and South America.


HORSE GRAM (Dolichos uniflorus).

An annual, in tropical and


subtropical regions of Asia and Africa.

It thrives on poor soil, and is

of value for soil erosion control, and as &reen manure.

It matures in

7 to 8 months. HYACINTH BEAN (Dolichos lablab). - An annual or biennial, in dry

tropical areas in Asia, Africa, West Indies, and Central America. period is 6 to 8 months.

Is moderately resistant to drought, but susceptible

to diseases in humid conditions.

Garden varieties are grown for their beans.

LATHYRUS PEA, KHESARI DAL (Lathyrus sativus). ing on poor soil.


Matures in 5 to 6 months.


Is a hardy annual grow­

Because of its drought

resistance, it is considered an important famine crop in India, and is often cultivated when cereal crops have failed.

If eaten in large amounts,

however, it may produce the disease, lathyrism, causing paralysis of the limbs. LENTIL, SPLIT PEA (Lens culinaris). - An annual, grown in India, Burma,

Near East, North Africa, central and southern Europe. months.

It matures in 5 to 6

Is resistant to high temperatures and drought.

GARDEN PEA (Pisum sat ivum). - An annual, grown throughout temperate regions, and at high altitudes in warm countries as a dry season crop. matures in 3 to 5 months.


Is susceptible to high temperature and drought.

FIELD PEA (Pisum sativum). - Annual, similar to garden pea. moderately resistant to high temperatures, frost and drought. countries it is used as green manure.


In some

It matures in 4 to 5 months.

BROAD BEAN, HORSE BEAN (Vicia faba). - An annual or sometimes biennial,

represented by many varieties.

Is grown in temperate zone, particularly

in the Mediterranean region, and in the highlands in Asia, Africa, Central


and South America. drought.

Is moderately resistant to high temperatures and

Should be adaptable to the

It matures in 3 to 7 months.

northern highlands and sections of northeastern Thailand.


(Astragalus edulis). - A perennial plant grown tn the

The seeds are sometimes consumed in parts of

Near East and North Africa. Iran and adjacent countries.

Seeds of the other species of Astragalus are

used as substitute for coffee in the Mediterranean region.

SMOOTH SENNA (Cassia laevigata).


A shrub native to tropical America.

In Central America the seeds are sometimes used as substitute for coffee. Also grown in Indonesia, where the seeds are boiled or roasted as a sidedish with rice. LOCUST BEAN, CAROB BEAN (Ceratonia siliqua).


Tree, native to the

eastern Mediterranean region, and now cultivated,in other subtropical and tropical regions.

The seeds are fed to cattle and horses, and sometimes

used as a substitute for coffee.

The pods contain a sweet, mucilaginous

pulp, which has a high sugar concent, and after drying it is used as a confection. KIDNEY BEAN, FRENCH BEAN, HARICOT BEAN (Phaseolus vulgaris). annual grown throughout the world. drought and frost.



Is susceptible to high temperatures,

Includes many varieties, varying in color and size.

Is more productive in cool climate, where the plant matures slowly. matures in 2 to 5 months. areas of northern Thailand.


This crop should be suitable for the highland

Varieties especially selected for resistance

to insects and disease should be obtained from the Federal Experiment

Station, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, for testing in Thailand.


RICE BEAN, RED BEAN (Phaseolus calcaratus). light yellow beans are grown in Thailand. is less difficult than for mung bean. insect pests and diseases.

- Both red beans and

The problem of harvesting

The mature pod is resistant to

There is little sprouting within the pod,

and not much dehiscence.

BAMBARA GROUNDNUT, EARTH PEA (Voandzia 'sibterraftea). - An annual plant native to i'ropical Africa. drought.

Is resistant to high temperatures and

The pods mature underground.

Matures in 5 to 6 months.


widely grown in Africa before the expansion of peanut production. COWPEA (Vla

sinensis). - A number of varieties are grown in Thailand.

Some are grown for the young immature pods, used as edible vegetables, others for the dry seeded pea, used mainly as raw material for sweets. Daily growth of foliage is equal to that of mung bean and is therefore highly valued as forage.

Like mung bean, growing per:tod is 3 to 3.5

months, but harvesting period is shorter and takes only from 1 to 2 weeks.

As each pod is large, the number of pods is less, so that

harvesting requires less labor than mung bean.

Insect and disease damage

to the pod is less than in mung beans, but insect damage to the pea in storage is great, and fumigation is necessary if stored for a long period. Marketable use of this bean is limited, and the yield per acre is small

so that the prospect for export is not as good as for mung bean.

An annual, with many varieties, it is grown in the American Hemis­ phere, southern Europe, and tropical Africa and Asia. high temperatures, drought, insect pests and diseases.


are eaten as a vegetable in India and China.

Is resistant to The pods of

It should have a

place in the uplands of Thailand because of its special characteristics

for the tropics.


), comments on sources of aermulaam of nulse

J. P. Meiners (p.331

(grain legume) crops as follows:

Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris).

Apparently, some work on beans is

under way at Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand.

I do not

know if they are testing varieties of beans for adaptability to

hill regions.

Since northern Thailand appears to be in the same latitude as

Central America and the Caribbean area, and the altitude at which

beans are grown in this area corresponds with elevations projected

for bean growing in Thailand, it may be well to test germplAsm

from Latin America.


is probably obtainable from:

(1) The USDA/AID Regional Pulse Improvement Pioject at the

Federal Experiment Station, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.

Address request

to Dr. N. G. Vakili, RPIP/USDA, Federal Experiment Station, P.O.

Box 70, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico 00708.

(2) Ing. Heleodoro Miranda, Coordinator of the Bean Program

of IICA, Northern Zone.

His address is:

IICA, Nona Norte, Apartado

1815, Guatemala, Guatemala.

Cowpeas (Vina sinensis).

Germplasm is

probably obtainable

from USDA/AID Regional Pulse Improvement Project, Federal Experiment

Station, P. 0. Box 70, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico 00708. Introduction Station, Experiment Georgia 30212.

(2) Plant

(3) Dr. P. H.

Mehta, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA),

Ibadan, Nigeria.


Pigeon Peas (Cajanus cajan). Germplasm is probably obtainable

from (1) Dr. Raul Abrams, Department of Plant Breeding, University

of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, R o Piedras, Puerto Rico 00928. (2) Dr. K. 0. Rachie, IITA, Ibadan, Nige.ria.

(Dr. Rachie was formerly

at Makerere University College, Kampala, Uganda, where he had the World Collection. Whether it remains in Uganda or now is at IITA, I do not know).

(3) Dr. S. L. Chowdhury, Indian Agricultural

Research Institute, New Delhi-12, India.

Chickpea (Cicer arietinum).



probably obtainable

from (1) Dr. H. B. Singh, Head, Division of Plant Introduction,

Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi-12, India. (2)

M. C. Amirshahi, Karaj Agricultural College, Tehran University,

Karaj, Iran. (3) M. Aslam, West Pakistan Agricultural University,

Lyallpur, West Pakistan. (4) Dr. Tosun, University of Ankara,

Ankara, Turkey. (5) Miss Hyla Sencer or Dr. Ebbe Kjellquist,

Swedish FAO Technicians, Plant Industry Station, Izmir, Turkey.

Broadbean (icia from (1)

fa2a). Germplasm is probably obtainable

M. C. Amirshahi, Karaj Agricultural College,


University, Karaj, Iran.

Peas (Pisum sativum, P. formosum),


is probably

obtaiLable from Plant Introduction Station, Geneva, New York 14456.

Lentil (Lena esculenta). from (1)


is probably obtainable

Dr. H.. B. Singh, Head, Division of Plant Introduction,

Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi-12, India. M. C. Amirshahi, KaraJ Agricultural College, Karaj, Iran. 190




Potentials of Horticulttire in 'the Northeast

Of the many facets of agriculture in Thailand, horticulture is probably

the least developed.

This is certainly true in light of the fact that Thailand

is endowed with natural, human and other natural resources and conditions which

would permit this potential to become an important source of tropical fruit production and exi-ort in Asia. Problems responsible for this underdevelopment

of horticulture are found in all areas, including the Northeast, where horti­ cultural crops are grown.l/

Lying between 140 and 180 north latitude, the Northeast is essentially

tropical from the standpoint of growing tropical horticultural species of

fruits and vegetables. The region is devoid of frosts and chilling temperatures

(night temperatures below 150C) which is adequate to induce dormancy in many species.

This lack of frost and chilling temperatures make the Northeast

suitable, climatically, for a wide range of tropical horticultural plants. Another natural resource in favor of tropical horticulture in the Northeast is the abeence of an appreciable seasonal variation of day length. Rainfall distribution in the Northeast is of the monsoon type, with virtually no precipitation during the dry season (November-June) and with

adequate, occasionally excessive, rainfall during the rainy-season.


uneven rainfall distribution is the most limiting factor for tropical horti­ culture and, indeed, for any agriculture in the Northeast.

Without irrigation,

commercial production of most tropical horticultural species, especially

vegetable crops, is seriov- - handicapped. Under prolonged periods of

drought. only a very limited number of tropical fruits, such as mango,

guava, cashew nut, annonas, Jack fruit, and pomegranate can survive without


However, these fruits survive only with significant reductions

in yield and fruit size.

.L/ Information on horticulture in Northeast Thailand has been adapted from a May 1972 report on "Plan of Work for Development of Horticulture in Northeast Thailand," by Prapan Nanthachai and Aly M. Lasheen. 191

With proper irrigation, no doubt even the drier climate of

the Northeast should be favorable for tropical horticulture of

both fruits and vegetables, at least from the standpoint of insect

and disease control.

Almost all of the existing agriculture in the Northeast, and

in fact the remainder of Thailand, is on

lowland soils, considered

for centuries as adaptable for the cultivation of paddy rice.

Such soils, however, have serious limitations for growing tree


During the rainy season the water table rises in lowland

soils to displace the air and this causes water logging.


water logging deprives deep roots produced during the dry season

of oxygen necessary for their respiration, and the "choked" roots soon


Death of roots due to water logging is much more extensive

in the tropics than in cooler regions because the higher soil tem­ perature in the tropics increases the oxygen demand of these roots,

but decreases the solubility of oxygen in soil moisture, and thus

compounds the problem.

On higher elevations in parts of the Northeast there are large areas of deep, well drained, upland soils.

Many of these

possess excellent physical characteristics favorable for perennial fruit culture.

Some upland soils with light sandy loam texture

and low natural fertility are only marginally suitable for annual


Nevertheless, these soils are suitable for fruit culture


when provided with fertilizers, and supplied with water for irr.­ gation at least during the dry season.

In many areas there is

adequate surface 'nd/or deep well water resources as yet not

developed for irrigatv. example,

In the area around Thon Kaen, for

there are some irrib -ion developments which will provide

irrigation water to some areas of upland soils in the Northeast. Tropical horticulture is an intensive agricultural endeavor with a

high return per rai.

Perhaps, better than other agricultural

endeavors, it can support the high cost of these irrigation developments in the Northeast as elsewhere in Thailand. "Land ownership patterns in

the Northeast, like the rest

of Thailand, is evolving in an undesirable direction. increasing


population growth rate, land-labor ratio is not

changing substantially.

As a result, the new land, mostly upland,

brought under cultivation becomes increasingly less suitable for

paddy cultivation, and the land becomes more valuable.

Also, crop

failure in the Northeast, due to unfavorable weather conditiorq, is

not uncommon.

Hence a real danger exists that, unless land security

or productivity are substantially improved, a considerable amount of agricultural land in the Northeast may be transferred to land­ lords or creditors.

The provision of surface or deep well irrigation

water for vegetable and fruit production, especially by small farmers, would be an effective means to protect them from losing their land.

These crops are labor intensive and most suitable for


small I farmers, especially

in the Northeast where labor supply is


In all of Thailand there are only about 160,000 ha classified

as upland soils under irrigation from surface water with suitable

depth and drainage for fruit culture. But up to now, only a small

percentage of these soils has been developed for fruit culture.

This is due to lack of fruit growing tradition in upland soils;

also few research orchards to demonstrate techniques to the farmer,

especially in regard to application of irrigation necessary for

perennial fruit culture. Nowhere in the Northeast are upland soils

under irrigation to be found. However, If the Northeast is to

develop fruit culture, potential upland soils in this area must be

provided with irrigation facilities suitable for fruit crops. This

would be a significant contribution to the much needed crop diversi­ fication in the Northeast, as a means of utilizing lands hitherto

not used for intensive agriculture. If, or when used for fruit

crops such lands are capable of justifying the high investment costs

necessary for development.

Furthermore, to fully develop a horti­

cultural industry parallel programs of research, extension, farm

credits and marketing co-operatives should be established.

So far, there have bt'en no fruit growing areas in the North­ east that utilize deep-well irrigation water. Surveys of tnderground

water in upland soils are essential and should be accelerated.


development of these soils is probably more favorable for fruit and



-6 -.

Figure 25. The Northeast, long regarded as the least developed section of Thailand, has an annual rain­ fall generally of less than 1,000 um. Precipitation is often sporadic, and the soil in many areas is


vegetable production than for most annual crops, because of the

high return per rai obtained from horticultural crops.

A govern­

mental program of financial and engineering assistance, possibly from the Royal irrigation Department, should certainly accelerate the development of these upland soils, utilizing underground water for irrigation.

For the Northeast, and indeed for all of Thailand, to develop

its potential in tropical horticulture, irrigation for upland soils

for frvit crops must be developed.

Attention should be given to

problems and requirements involved in irrigating fruit trees on

upland soil.

Also, to develop a vegetable industry, surface or

deep-well perennial irrigation water should be provided. At present there are about 25 university graduates in Thailand working in different phases of horticulture.

Of these only about

two-thirds devote a major part of their time to horticultural


In the Northeast there are only four horticulturists:

two at the University of Rhon Kaen, and )ne each at the NEAC and the Kalasin Pilot Farm.

Because of the large number of horticultural

species and the specific requirements of most of these species, research in horticulture has many facets from the planting stage to the ultimate market.

The following are some aspects of applied

horticultural research: density and time of planting, propagation, pruning and other related practices, rootstocks, varietal adap­ tation, flower biology and chemical thinning, soil fertility,


fertilizer requirements and cover crops, irrigation, drainage and other aspects of water relations, weed control, insect and disease control, harvesting and the many problems in post-harvest physiology,

shipping and marketing, etc.

In Thailand work investigation dealing

with some of the above aspects is scattered among the many divisional

and regional research centers within the Department of Agriculture infrastructure, or in other government-supported agencies in Bangkok or other locations in Thailand.

In many instances there is a lack

of coordination or cooperation, thus inevitably resulting in diluted efforts and funds. Research projects in the Northeast involve preliminary work dealing with varietal adaptation, fertilizer requirements, and

disease control.

There are only 2 horticulturists in Thailand who hold the

Ph.D. degree and 15 with the M.S. degree. in full time research in horticulture.

Few of them are engaged

The 3 universities with

faculties of agriculture expectcd to graduate about 25 students

in 1972 with a major in horticulure.

It is clear that horticultural education and research in

Thailand, especially in the Northeast, suffer from an acute shortage of adequately trained people.

Also, apparently many of the locally

trained university graduates do not pursue a career in horticulture. Because of this critical shortage of trained horticulturists the

Thai Ministry of Agriculture has no effective means to address its many problems of horticulture or to coordinate research into one integrated program of each of the major horticultural crops.


More than most crops, fruit and vegetable crops require a well­ developed, integrated technological system involving one of the major horticultural crops from planting to the market.


develop technology systems for at least some of the most im­

portant horticultural crops in Thailand would require research-team. work of specialists in various disciplines working together on all facets of the production of these crops.

For example, mango is

considered to have a potential as a major fruit crop in the Northeast.

To develop a technology system for this crop in the

Northeast will require research-team work of a horticulturist, plant pathologist, entomologist, specialist.

food technologist and a marketing

The team would deal with a variety of problems starting

with the evaluation of local and imported varieties to select suitable varieties for both fresh and processed fruit production

and ending with marketing problems.

The team of research

specialists should be provided with a long range budget, farm and labotatory equipment and supplies, and a library.



Figure 26. Section of Friendship highway north of Khorat, built with AID funds, is the principal roadway

linking Bangkok with Nong-Khai, on the Mekong river in the Northeast.

Fruits 'and Vegetables fot the Northeast

The number of species of fruits and vegetables of economic value in the tropics is very large.

Some of these are of

potential importance for the Northeast.

Nanthachai and Lasheen recommend that the following species .of fruits and vegetables, listed according to priority should be

investigated for adaptability under prevailing conditions in the





















Custard Apple






Baby Corn










Passion Fruit











Research on the above cited fruits and vegetables would involve the following: 1.

Variety trials (mostly imported)

2. Fertilizer trials


Disease control


Insect and rodent control


5. Herbicide trials

6. Irrigation methods

7. Cultural practices




Mango (Mangifera indica):

Other than banana and citrus, the mango probably is the

most important fruit in the tropics. Asiatic in origin, it is

a definitely tropical tree fruit. It is especially well

adapted to the Northeast because of well defined dry and rainy

seasons. Most, if not all, varieties in Thailand are seedlings

from apomictical clones. To improve mango production in the

Northeast and other regions in Thailand the following program

is recommended:

1. Germplasm of better varieties from India, Malaysia,

Philippines, Indonesia and the United States (Florida

and Hawaii) should be introduced to Thailand and

tested in the Northeast and other regions.


varieties should also be tested and evaluated.

2. A survey is recommended to locate the best available

mango seedlings in Thailand. One method suggested is

to organize a "National Mango Contest," organized and

held annually or biennially in Bangkok by the Depart­ ment of Agridulture.

A regional contest could also be


organized in cooperation with the Extension Branch at the NEAC for farmers of the Northeast. should result in

These contests

locating promising mango seedlings.

Evaluation of this to establish seedlings would be an expedient procedure to discover high-quality mango to

be named and propagated for commercial and/or home plantings. 3.

Rootstock studies should be conducted to select the

best materials for local and imported varieties.

4. Research involving fertilizers, disease and insect

control, irrigation, and various cultural practices

should be carried out after establishing a mango


Canned mango slices have been produced in some tropical countries, but up to the present no acceptable canned product is sold on the market.

This is due in part to lack of adequate

plantings of good canning varieties of mango and lack of research in mango culture and processing.

Like the established

canned pineapple industry, caned mango slices have the poten­ tial to become an export item.

The development of such a

potential in Thailand and especially in possible.


the Northeast is

Figure 27. Four-year old planting of Anacardium occidentale in east-central Dahomey, West ioa. Shrub is fire resistant, sprouts readily when stem is cut, and suppresses undergrowth.




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water shortage during the dry season. Some studies should be made

on water conservation by mulching. Another problem in papaya

production is the development of locally adapted varieties, as the

species is naturally sensitive to climatic changes.

A recommended

program involves selection of desirable female plants and converting

them to hermaphroditic plants (bearing perfect flowers) by using

only hermaphroditic pollen.

An attempt would be made to propagate papaya by the tissue

culture technique.

If successful, it would be feasible to propagate

a desirable variety vegetatively.

Pomegranate (Punica granatum). Northeast, borers.

This plant is well suited for the

and pomegranate culture is seriously limited by stem

Identification and control of borers is recommended, and

the introduction of varieties resistant to borers.

Custard Apple (Annona suamOsa and A. reticulata).

These two

species are suitable for growing conditions of the Northeast.

A. squamosa


sweeter and better flavored than A. reticulata.

No serious problems should be encountered in the culture of custard apple in the Northeast, but insect damage, especially from aphids, may become serious at times.

A.squamosa buds and

grafts easily on rootstocks of A. reticulata. resulting in a tree which bears much earlier than a seedling tree.

Selection for

seedless strains of A. squamosa is recommended.

A seedless

variety found in Cuba should be introduced and tried in Thailand.


Banana (Hgd paradiadca). largely with the Gros

Work with banana at the Center will be

Michel variety.

This large thick skinned

fruit has good flavor, excellent keeping quality, and is so arranged in the bunch that none stand out to be broken or bruised

during shipping.

This makes it the only variety suitable for

shipping in the banana growing areas of the world. However, Gros

Michel is susceptible to Fusarium oxysprum, which causes

Panama disease.

Two selections of Gros

Michel, Valery and

William's Hybrid, are believed to be resistant to this disease. William's Hybrid is especially valuable where high winds occur, making it very desirable for the Northeast and where high winds are often prevalent.

Both of these selections have been intro­

duced to Thailand and are now being propagated at the NEAC. An attempt will also be made to propagate these selections by tissue culture.

In addition to propagation, work with banana will

involve cultural practices and the control of a leaf spot disease,

sigatoka, caused by Mycosvhaerella musicole which occurs in Thailand.

Guava (Psidium Rualava).

Guava can be grown on a wide range of

soils and is suitable for Northeast conditions; however, it requires more water during the dry season than is naturally available in the region.

Work with this speciesN other than cultural

practiceswould involve the introduction of desirable varieties. The fruit may be eaten fresh.

In recent years it has become


popular when used in combination with other tropical fruits to

mke juices and nectars.

The development of good vi.rieties is

necessary for processing the above products.

Pineapple (Ananas comosus).

Pineapple is not a suitable crop for

the Northeast and little is grown there. Almost all for local

consumption is shipped from the South. It thrives best on sandy

soils, rich in organic matter, preferably below pH 5.5, low in

salt content and low water table. Ideal conditions for

pineapple culture are found in limited areas in the Northeast. Plants are susceptible to high salt content, so that soluble

fertilizers shuuld be used in dilute form with great care.

Preference is given to organic fertilizers. showed lack of sweetness of the fruit.

Preliminary trials at NEAC

This may be ascribed to phos­

phorus content in the soil. In Cambodia sweetness was found to be

correlated with that element, especially during the rainy season.



recommended that a fertilizer experiment should be conducted

to determine the amount and time of application of various elements needed by the pineapple in Northeast soils. variety,

The Smooth Cayenne

the principal variety produced in Hawaii, grows well in

pineapple producing areas in Thailand. the only one tested at the Center.


This variety should be

Passion fruit (Passifldra'dulis).

This tropical fruit is not

cultivated in Thailand although frequent in many tropical and

subtropical countries,

and is eaten fresh or as juice or Vended

with other fruit juices, such as in Hawaiian punch. growing woody,

This fast­

perennial vine thrives on rich well drained soils.

At present it is not comnon in the Northeast.


pruning and harvesting require intensive labor readily available in the Northeast.

It is recommended that the purple passion fruit,

used mainly for fresh consumption, and the yellowish variant, used for processing mainly as juice because of its high acidity, should

be introduced for testing at the NEAC. have been reported to attack the roots.

Nematodes and soil fungi

Investigation should be

made on the identification and control of these organisms. Citrus Spp.

(C. reticulata and C. grandis).

of citrus, mandarin (C. reticulata),

Of the many species

characterized by its loose

skin, pommelo (C. grandis), and lime (C. aurantifolia) can be

propagated successfully in Thailand. Soil and climatic conditions

in the Northeast appear to be more favorable for mandarin, but

nematodes and die-back of the trees, called "decline," are serious.

A rootstock experiment is recommended to find a rootstock resistant

to nematodes and decline in soils of the Northeast.

Lime is considered to be the only tropical species of commercial


For this reason it is recommended that triploid varieties

of lime, with vigorous trees and larger leaves and fruit, should be tested at the Center.

These varieties also bear seedless fruit,


considered desirable for home use and for processing.

Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana).

This tree may not be suitable

for cultivation in the Northeast because of its slow growth,

requiring 10 to 20 years before it begins to bear.

A deep, well­

drained soil, rich in organic matter, and located at low elevations

in the warmest and humid parts of the tropics are reported to be

ideal for mangosteen.

Dr. Siribhongse reports the existence of a

wild species of Garcinia in the Surin area in the East.


attempt should be made to bud or graft mangosteen on these wild

or spontaneous trees.

The success of such an effort should be of

practical as well as academic interest.

Vegetables Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) . This crop is widely distributed in the tropics and can be grown during part of the year.


made in various areas in the Northeast indicate that tomatoes can

be grown with some success during the dry season.

The key to

success is the selection of suitable varieties, especially those

that are disease resistant.

It is a challenge to grow a successful

tomato crop during the rainy season for the following reasons:


Reduced sunlight during the rainy season reduces growth,

and this in turn is reflected in reduced yields.


2. Research has demonstrated that a combination of 700 -80*F

day and 50*-70°F night temperature is important for

fruit set and yields of tomato.

These conditions do not

prevail during the rainy season.

3. If not controlled, disgase may be the most limiting.factor

in tomato production in the tropics during the rainy season.

Mindful of these limitations it is recomended that research in

tomato culture at the Center should involve:

1. Testing of tomato varieties, especially those reported to be

resistant to tomato diseases. These tests should include

both local and imported varieties.


A program of disease control for tomatoes should be under­ taken during the entire year, in cooperation with the

Plant Pathology Branch.

Results obtained from such a

project would be valuable for tomato production in a

particular region.

3. Investigation should be made of the various culture

practices. This would include use of fertilizers, water,

spacing, staking and shading, in addition to other facets.

Sweet Pepper (Capsicum annum) and Hot Pepper (C. fritesagens).


the tropics, sweet pepper should be planted only during the "Winter"

months or at higher elevations.

In the Northeast it could be

grown during the cooler months from November to January.


A variety trial of both sweet and hot peppers should be

undertaken at the NEAC to determine the best varieties both local

as well as imported, that would be suitable for the region.


bacterial wilt, southern blight and certain viruses are

serious in pepper cultivation.

A cooperative program with the

Plant Pathology Branch to combat these diseases should be under­ taken.

In addition, the research program on peppers should deal

with various cultural practices.

Onions (Allium cea) and Garlic (A. sativum).

Conditions in the

Northeast favor the culture of these species, especially since they are stored and consumed during the entire year.

The most serious

problem in growing onions in tropical regions is the short day

length since they fail to form bulbs under a day length of less

than 15 hours or more.

Certain varieties, however, have been developed

in Texas and Hawaii that require only about 13 hours of day length to


It is recommended that some imported varieties should be

tested under Northeast conditions.

For garlic, a screening and selection of local varieties should

be undertaken.

Cultural practices, especially those dealing with

time of planting and spacing, should be investigated.

Asparagus (A. officinalis).

In order to develop thick marketable shoots,

this perennial species requires some chilling during the dormancy period.

Recently in Thailand, this crop has been successfully grown

in Chiang Mai area in the North and with some success farther south


in the Chonburi area. Most of the harvested crop is for-processing.

Preliminary trials indicate that asparagus can be grown successfully

in the Northeast.

With an abundant labor supply this crop may

have a potential for processing in that region.

Work at the NEAC

would involve cultural practices.

Corn (Zea pms).

Corn was selected as one of the major crops for

technology package approach in the revised five-year plan for NEAC.

In recent years the so-called "baby corn" has been successfully

processed and exported from Thailand. Baby corn is the common field

corn, harvested when the ears are at an early stage of development.

Some work, involving cultural practices, needs to be done, with

emphasis on spacing and fertilizers.

Watermelon (Citrullus vulgaris) . The soil types prevailing in the

Northeast are generally considered suitable for growing watermelon.

The region has long been the center for the production of this

crop, but Pttive varieties propagated there yield smaller crops of

small size melons. As a step aimed at improving watermelon pro­ duction in the Northeast a program of testing imported varieties

is recommended. These varieties should be tested for adaptability,

yield, quality and resistance to anthracnose.

Cowpea (Vigna sinensis .

Compared with many other bean species,

this plant is well adapted for the tropics.

It thrives on soil

of low fertility, and therefore is suitable for the Northeast.


The pods form a popular green vegetable.

It is also used as a

forage, cover, or green manure crop.

Two introductions of cowpea

from the United States, Victor

and Brabham, proved successful in Cambodia.

These varieties

should be tested in the Northeast.

Cucumber (Cucumis sativus).

The principal problems in cultivating

cucumbers in the Northeast are such diseases as downy mildew,

powdery mildew, mosaic and anthracnose, and low soil fertility.

Introduction of disease resistant varieties is essential.


should be combined with a spray program in cooperation with the Plant Pathology Branch.

A fertilizer experiment should also be

conducted, designed to determine the optimum combination, quantities, and time of application.

Certain cultural practices should also be


Eggplant (Solanum melongena).

This plant is widely adapted to many

tropical areas and is believed to be suitable for the Northeast. Eggplant is a favorite vegetable in Thailand, eaten mostly fried.

But, the local oblong varieties are not as well suited for frying

as the round imported varieties. to bacterial wilt.

Some of the latter are resistant

Some of these resistant varieties should be

tested for performance and disease resistance at NEAC.

Okra (Hibiscus esculentus). One of the important vegetable crops of the tropics, okra, however, is not popular in Thailand.

Much hand labor is involved

for daily harvesting of the crop which would make okra 21 1

suitable for the Northeast. Introduced varieties, especially,

those resistant to nematodes, should be tested in

the Northeast.

Potential Fruit Industry in Thailand! / A wide range of tropical horticultural plants could be. cul­ tivated successfully in Thailand. Traditionally, tropical

fruits constitute au important part of the diet of Thai people.

Agriculturally suitable soils Are limited mostly to river valleys and flood plains. For centuries these soils have been utilized for

the production of paddy rice, but-are not economically suitable for

the culture of fruit crops. Yet, the majority of horticultural

crops in Thailand are grown in these soils, and it



that this will continue in the foreseeable future. The demand, in

fact, may continue to increase to keep pace with the high rate of

population growth in Thailand.

This system of growing tropical

fruits on paddy soils, although adequate to supply the local

market, would not be economically feasible for volume production

of high quality fruits at low unit cost.

This would certainly

apply to the production of fresh and/or processed fruit for


A modern horticultural industry does not exist in Thailand at

present, but the potential for such an industry is excellent. To

develop this potential the following recommendations are suggested:


Extracted from report by Aly N. Lasheen.


1. The development of upland soils suitable for tropical fruit culture in Thailand is


Extensive .belts

of these soils are found throughout the country.


the limiting factor for horticultural development in such

soils is lack of water for perennial irrigation.

2. Horticulture in Thailand suffers from the lack of well-trained


Public resources invested in horticultural edu­

cation at the university level should be substantially


More participants from the Thai Department of

Agriculture and the three universities, Kasetsart, Khon Kaen and Chiang Mai, where horticulture is taupht, should be sent overseas tar graduate training.

Upon their return, these

participants should be employed in horticultural research and/ or teaching. 3. Horticultural research in Thailand, at present, is not coordinated.

More than other disciplines in agriculture,

horticulture requires a well integrated technology system, involving all aspects of production from the planting stage to the ultimate market.

Such a system is

necessary to

develop an industry capable of competing economically in international markets with other tropical fruit and vegetable producing countries. Horticultural research in the Department of Agriculture should revolve around each major fruit crop, utilizing the concept of


the technology package system. This system is being adopted by

the NEAC in the revised five-year plan, and should be adopted by other experiment stations where horticultural research now exists.

It is the consensus of horticulturists, both national and

other nationals, that the natural and human resources of

Thailand are favorable for the establishment of a tropical fruit

industry, capable of competing in world markets. But, such

potential would be difficult to realize under present circumstances. To accelerate this development it


recommended that a "National

Tropical Fruit Research Center" should be established in Thailand.

The establishment of such a Center was also recommended

in a report

by W, .Reutherlto the Government of Thailand, published by the

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

of the United Nations.


establishment of such a center, according to Reutherwould be "the

only attainable way to exploit the opportunity that tropical fruits

present to advance diversification and intensification of Agriculture

and thus contribute significantly to Thailand's social and economic


It is

the only feaslble means of providing the priority

necessary to ensure an adequate allocation of trained manpower from the extremely short supply available."

._/Reuther, W., 1971. Report to the Government of Thailand on 'fruit culture development in Thailand. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.


The tropical climate of Thailand, in general,

is very favorable

for the growing of a wide range of tropical and subtropical fruits. According to Lasheen, rough estimates suggest that about two-thirds

of Thai orchards are located in the drier monsoon areas, and planted

on raised beds on wet, lowland paddy soils with high clay content.

"Yields on such soil are low but production costs are high.

The re­

maining one-third are found in upland soils with high rainfall.


small production of drought resistant fruits, like mangos and

custard apple, is obtained on unirrigated upland soils, but there also

yields are low.

There are virtually no Irrigated fruit orchards on

upland soils in areas with monsoon-type rainfall.

"In the Orier four-fifths of Thailand there are large areas of

deep, well drained, upland soils, ideally suited for tropical fruit


In these upland soils there is a great potentiality

for a tropical fruit growing industry.

This could be realized by

the development of water resources and the application of technology

necessary to exploit these upland soils.

To develop a tropical fruit

growing industry it is essential to create a promising and sizable export of

fresh and processed fruits.

Despite limited production of canned


pineapple in recent years, Thailand holds no major share in the

export trade to Europe, America, or even such countries as Japan

or Asia.

Statistics on export trade in fresh and processed

tropical fruits are generally lacking.

An article in the

Financial Post (Bangkok), of June 8, 1972, indicates that

Thailand stands behind most tropical fruit exporting countries.

Also, data from the National Statistics Office show a total of

only 4,000 tons of banana exported from Thailand in 1969. In

contrast, Taiwan and the Philippines exported 450,000 tons and

25,000 mt, respectively, in the same year. That no significant

export industry has developed in Thailand up to now is due

largely to the following factors in addition to others:

(1) absence of a fruit growing industry; (2) lac

of locally

adapted and well integrated technology for handling, shipping,

processing and marketing; (3) low yields, poor quality fruit, and

high production costs on wet paddy soils; and (4) lack of grower

and marketing co-operatives to supply processors and exporters

with a continuous and controlled flow of quality fruit.

"The development of a tropical fruit growing industry and an

export trade of fresh and processed fruit will require time, and

therefore should receive a higher priority and support by the

Thai Government.

This development, in time, would enable Thailand

to become a very important, if not the leading, tropical fruit

production and export center in the Far East. However, I am of


the belief that the organizational framework of efforts tv develop

the needed technology fruits of

packages' for the many species of tropical

economic importance, and teams of scientists necessary

to develop them, are not available in Thailand at present. Fruit

production, especially for processing and export, is an intensive,

high input agricultural endeavor xequiring a series of carefully

balanced technological inputs from planning planting to the ulti­ i'

mate market.

Taking these factors into consideration Lasheen recommends the

establishment of a "National Tropical Fruit Research Center" to

advance the technology of all aspects of tropical fruit production

through research and education.

Among the more important justifications for establishing such a

center are:

1. Thailand is endowed with many natural resources and

conditions favorable for the development of a potential

tropical fruit industry.

2. The development of a tropical fruit industry could

advance diversification and intensification of agri­ culture, and thus contribute significantly to social

and economic goals sought by the Thai Government to

improve the welfare of its people.


3. Fruit exports reprcsent a potential source of foreign

exchange earnings which are increasingly important for total national development.

4. Geographically, Thailand is centrally located for

Asian and Far Eastern markets.

5. Fruit crops are more economically suited for the utilization of upland soils which are plentiful in

Thailand, but at present remain unused.

6. Because of higher return per rai, fruit crops, better than

most other crops, can support the high costs invested

in developing perennial irrigation in upland soils.

7. Fruit production is a many faceted agricultural en­ deavor requiring intensive labor and provides employment

for many people in production, packing, processing and


8. In view of a surplus rice production and depressed prices for rubber in the world market, it is now expedient to devote more attention and resources to development of a tropical fruit industry.

9. In addition to research, a "National Tropical Fruit

Research Center" would serve as a center where horti­ culturi.sts could receive training in different phases of

tropical fruit production.

10. A redl need exists for a center to store germplasm of varieties, strains and near relatives of the many

species of tropical fruits found in or imported to


Thailand, to be evaluated and propagative material made

available to satellite agricultural centers or experiment

stations throughout Thailand.

Such a "National Tropical Fruit Research Center" strongly supported

by the Thai Government and staffed by highly trained and experienced

scientists both Thai and other nationals, could, in a relatively

short time create a solid base for a tropical fruit industry in


Furthermore, there is dire need for an international

tropical fruit research center comparable to the Asian Vegetable

Research and Development Center in Taiwan.

A "National Tropical

Fruit Research Center," could become the nucleus for such, as

proposed, an international organization.

As a national center to serve all of Thailand and possibly to

develop eventually into an international organization to serve

neighboring countries, the proposed center should be established

in an

accessible location from the capital, Bangkok.

The principal

and obvious reasons for choosing such a location are:

1. To effectively serve all of Thailand and especially the

major fruit growing areas the proposed center should be

centrally located.

2. The center should be easily accessible by road or rail

from Bangkok.

3. A centrally located center could effectively serve the

regional agricultural centers and experiment stations


where applied research involving fruit crops most

suitable and adaptable for each region should be done.

Through extension, information obtained from this applied research would then be disseminated among farmers

who produce the particular fruit crop(s).

4. To effectively discharge its functions, a research and/or

eaucational center should be close to the supply, service,

transportation, and shipping facilities of Bangkok.

5. The site selected should be located on deep upland soil

with adequate drainage necessary for the culture of a wide variety of tropical and subtropical fruits. 6. The site should be provided with perennial irrigation

by gravity from an irrigation project.


Most of Thailand has the monsoon type of rainfall distri­ bution, with less than 1,600 mm annually; the center should

be located in a region with similar annual rainfall distribution.

8. The center should be lotated near a major agricultural college offering training in horticulture.

Students and

staff members of this institution would receive practical training in the application of technology of tropical fruit culture.

By locating the center near Bangkok, it

would be close to Kasetsart University, which offers the best training in horticulture now available in



9. Locating the center near Bangkok would make it a desirable

place for its staff to live, raise a family; and provide

an environmental condition which would help to reduce the

high turnover of governmfent employed research staff, and

which is often a real problem in an ibolated location.

10. Taking into consideration the above cited factors, the

recom nendation is made that the center should be located

on a suitable site in the Central Plain where two-thirds

of the national output of the major fruit crops--bananas and

pineapples--is now produced, and where a promising pine­ apple canning industry is located.


A logical site would be north of the city of Nakorn Pathom

at Kamphaeng Saen within or clbse by the new land now

being developed for the faculty of agriculture of Kasetsart



However, before a final decision is made a thorough soil

and water table survey should be made to determine the

suitability of the site for horticultural crops.


Location of the center in this general area would meet

most of the requirements emphasized.

Lasheen points out that horticultural research in the Thai Ministry

of Agriculture in approaching the many problems of horticulture on a

national scale has been lethargic.

The obviously low productivity

has been due mainly to lack of adequately trained research personnel

and co-ordinated research efforts.


Such a research center could become the nucleus for an

"International Tropical Fruit Research Center," supported by

several international organizations along the lines of the

International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines. Such

a horticultural research Center would also complement the Asian

Vegetable Research and Development Center now established in Taiwan.



Figure 28. Section of the famed "floating market" in Bangkok, where a wide assortment of horticultural produce is sold for local consumption.

CASNEW (Anacardium occidentale).- This small tree has long been

known in Thailand, growing scatteringly around abodes. India continues

to be the main producer and exporter of cashew nuts, but extensive

plantations have been established in recent years in East and West Africa,

especially in Mozambique, Tanzania, and Dahomey.

Cashew has several advantages over other tropical crops. It is well

adapted to a variety of soils and to the rainfall pattern, obtained in


Alternating dry and wet seasons that prevail in the Northeast,

the northern section of the Peninsula, and Northern Thailand should be

favorable for its growth.

When properly planted, it has a high germination rate, amounting up

to 95 percent.

The seed may be planted directly in the field, thus

avoiding the necessity of establishing a nursery and to transplant the

seedlings. It appears to be disease- and fise-resistant. When damaged

by fire, young trees throw out new shoots.

Once established, the planting

requires a minimum of care. The normal procedure is to weed three times

during the first and second years; twice in the third; and once in the

fourth year. No further weeding is necessary.

Cashew may be planted along with other crops such as cotton,

peanuts, and yams. When these crops have been harvested, the cashew

planting remains as a permanent crop.

It provides a gradually and sub­

stantially increasing revenue annually to the farmer. The first crop

of fruit is obtained within 3 to 4 years after planting, and the yield

increases progressively until the tree is 20 to 25 years old.


The fruit of the cashew tree furnishes three products:

the kernel

or cashew of conmerce, widely consumed in tropical and temperate countries;

cashew nut oil; and the hypocarp, the pear-shaped peducle that is edible

when ripe, although astringent, and which may be used to prepare a preserve

and a refreshing beverage.

As an indication of the potential production of cashew, the fol lowing

average yields, according to age, have been recorded in India:

Table 17

Production of Cashew Nut acoording to age in Indiai/


3 years

4 " 5 6 7 8 9 10


12 " 13 14

" 15 " 16 17 18

" " "



22 23

*' *

24 "

_/ Source:


........... 176

... . .......... a 220


................. o *. . . . . . .. . . . . 264


.. . .... .. . . . . . . .*o . . . .o .

.. .... 440

.. . . . . . 528 . . . .. .. . 660

. . . . . . 792



. . .0 . .0 . 1,056 .. . . .. . .. ° ......... 1,144

................ 0 1,232

0 . . . .. . . . . . .

. 1,320


................ 1,408

0a 0 a................90 0



.. .. .. .. . . . . . . 1,496

. ..... . . . . 1,496

.. 0 . . . . . .. . .




" " "

a0 0

.. . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . . . ..

19 " 20 "



* • • • • .

a *


25 26 27 28 29

Yield per acre/pounds

. . . o.&a.......o ..

. . . * .*. . .. . .0. . . . . .. a.* .* * o. . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . • .

ea 1,408

. . . 1,320

... .. .. .. . . 1,188

. .0. . . . 1,056

* * * o o. 880

.. .. . . . 704

. . . . 440

Data obtained from the Forest Department, Dahomey, 1966.


In order to reduce manual labor,

there is. a need to develop

mechanical equipment to crack cashew nuts.

Such equipment,


is understoodlis available in Mozambique. POME FRUITS.-Regarding the propagation of pome fruit

trees, Tom van der Zwet (p,




"The apple and pear

industries in the countries of Asia are not as well organized and scientifically oriented as those in more developed countries. Average production norm is low and there is a shortage of fruit to meet the per capita requirements of the desired nutritional standards."

The introduction of apples in India during the

early 1960's has met with considerable success, and this culture is fast increasing in hill areas because of high income. could be grown equally well.


In the more tropical countries

of Southeast Asia, pears and apples.may be grown in areas above 5,000-6,000 feet elevation, providing they are free from spring frosts and night temperatures do not drop too low during the growing season.

Both pome fruits could play an important

role in the economics of the Asian countries and contribute to the welfare of the people,

through the availability of

fresh fruit on the market, the production of apple or pear

cider (perry), .and export to other countries.


BERRY CROPS.--Regarding the feasibility of growing berries in Thailand,

H. Scott (p.329)

makes the following comments:

"From your descriptions of environmental conditions in northern Thailand at high elevations, it may be possible to grow straw­ berries, blueberries, and blackberries.

The cultivars of

each crop are important because they differ in adaptation, depending upon day length, temperatures, and rest period. Strawberries recommended:

Florida Ninety, Tioga, Dabreak,

Headliner, Apollo, Atlas, Earlibelle.

Plants can be obtained

from Lewis Strawberry Nursery, Rocky Point, North Carolina,

and other nurseries.

Blueberries recommended: Southland, and Britblue.

Tifblue, Woodard, Delite,

Plants available from W. T. Bright­

well, Georgia Coastal Plain Experiment Station, Tifton.

Blackberries recommended:

Flordagrand, Oklawaha, Brazos.

Contact Dr. Wayne Sherman, Department Pomology, Florida

Agricultural Experiment Station, Gainesville, for nursery



FORAGE PLANTS. In view of the growing importance of the

livestock industry in Thailand, especially in the Khorat Plateau,

the establishment of a germplasm bank of native and introduced

species of grasses and forage crops is recommended.

Among grasses

are: pangola, bermuda, elephant, buffell and rhodesgrasses,

greenleaf desmodium and species of Eragrostis; also Hemarthria

altissima and species of Brachiaria from Central and South

Africa; Paspalum dilatatum, from northern South America; and

species of Eriochloa, Panicum and Stylosanthes.

"Mat" or "matpe" bean, grown as a commercial crop for the

bean in Thailand, yields a palatable, nutritious pasturage and


Lablab (Dolichos lablab) is a drought resistant plant,

grown for its edible seeds, for fodder, silage and green manure.

Another useful legume is Leucaena leucocephala, the "ipil-ipil"

of the Philippines. It thrives in areas with calcareous soil,

serves as a browse, for silage and soilage.

A South African

plant that may be suitable for the Northeast is a succulent

shrub (Portulacaria afra), which serves for browse, especially

in dry areas.


A. J. Oakes (p.3z9) recommends the following tropical and

subtropical species for inclusion in a forage program in Thailand:

Legumes aud other plants:

Acacia spp.

Aegchdmdne spp. Albizia lebbeck

" & other species

Alysicarpus spp.




Leucana leucocephala

" & other species

Lupinus spp.

Medcago sativa

& other-species

Mlilotus spp.

& other species

Mucuna deerinigiana

Cajanuscan Calopogonium mucunoides " & other species Canavalia ensiformis " & other species Cassia spp. except C. occidentalis and C. siamea Centrosema pubescens " &.other species Clitoria ternata Delonix reia Desmodium distOrtum

Phaseolus aureus


" & other species PithecellobLub, opp. Portulacaria afra Prdsopis spp.

Pueraria phaseoloides

Sesbania spp.

Stizolobium deeringianum

Stylosanthes spp. Tamarindus indica



" & other species Dolichos lablab

Teramnus spp.

Trifolium incarnatum

, repens "

Erythrina spp.

& other species

Vicia spp.

Galactia spp.

Glvcine max

of wi,ht i

" & other species

na unguiculata i & other species

Indigofera spp. except I. endecaphylla


Forage and pasture grasses:

" dodkon spp.



A"oiopu affiis ___ _o____us


& other species




" to

Lxdph~tus unlietus

70€oarius & other species


Brachiaria decumbens

mutica ruziziensis

& other species

Bdthriochloa intermedia

& other species

Cenchrus ciliaris Chlori kaana & other species Cvnodon dactylon

plectostachvus & other species




Phalaris aquatica

Sadcharum edule

" officinarum

eriantha Macroglossa iana natalensis


" & other species

Sorghastrum nutans

Sorghum biCdlor " udanense " verticilliflorum




& other species


& other species

Irpscum laxum

Eragrostis capensis "urvula




Panicum antidOtale

" ordugatum 'maximum & other species Paspalun dilatum



urvillei i vainatum i & other species Pennisetumlandegtinum

" Oedicellatum

" urureum


Dichanthium caricosum

" nodosum




Urochloa mosambicensis " & other species





& other species Etiochloa polyataehya



Grasses used for food (seeds): Mdti~oor~gavnusFak~pytu O~tikdnsH6edA-um


Aveng abVdith1ca



if sativa ItsteriliB

9 dul1eitum

Latipes serilo 1frsis

Brachiaria deflexa


lubata obtdsifldra stigmatisata ukambensis xantholeuca

Oryvza barthii of bteviligulata " glabartima " glaberrima subsp. staphii " lOngis titata " sativa Oxytenatithdra abyssinica Panicum of it IT

anabaptistum coifersafii kalaharense kotschyanum laetum ineveranum var. grandiglume miliaceum I, subalbidum turgidum Paspalum conjiugatm

it commersonil Pennisetui albidaule'



Cenchrus biflorus

it leotachanthus

It rVieurii

Chioris prieurii

Coix lacrvma-lobi

Dactyloceteniu-m -aegyptium Digitaria adscendens

11 debilis if exilis if horizontalis 01 iburua Dinebra retroflexa


It echinturus itgambierlse togibbosum toleonis itmaiwa ofmalacochaete

Echnochloa colonum itcrus-galli


ofpyramid alis

Elusine Coracana

t indicaofngiau

Elionurus elegans Enineapdgon glumosus Erarostio barrelieri I ilianersis



WIpyCrida IIsiicatum



Phalaris bradhystaghys

of gangetica

itpilosa iftef

ittremula Eriochloa nlubica

Sacciolepis africana Secale cerejle Setaria pallidifusca sphadelata




s6?gthum d~kbAbres cens









durr a exaertum

Trichdldgna tdi~eriffae


Tritiun adBti'um

guitiaefse lariceolatum matgaritifdtum nigericum nigricans var. angoletse

Tr 11

dig-06co~ides diddifton durum ifldfloeoccum orieitale


ncotabile roxburjzhii


sphaerococcum turgidum Urochloa species


Potential sources of breeding stocks:

Southern Regional Plant Introduction Station

Experiment, Ceor3ia 30212


Western Regional Plant Introduction Station

Pullman, Washington 99163


Soil Conservation Service

National Plant Materials Center

Beltsville, Maryland 20705 U.S.A. ALFALFA (Medicago sativa).

In Asia there are over 1 million

ha (2.47 million acres) in alfalfa. alfalfa is is

In Asian countries 'here

used as a forage crop, a large portion of the acreage

under irrigation and high yields are often obtained.


Medicago species are also components of the endemic vegetation over

vast regions of that continent. Although not an important crop in India, according to Bulton, et al., and Heinrichs, et al., the total acreage was estimated at

21,128 ha or 52,207 acres. It is fed as green fodder, primarily to horses.

Farmers, however, began to recognize alfalfa as a good

feed for dairy cows when it was shown that danger of bloat is

removed by limiting alfalfa to no more than one-third of the forage.

The crop is always grown under irrigation.

It may be used as

an annual but is usually treated as a perennial, which lasts 3 to 5 years.

According to Donald Cornelius , in the state of Gujarat,

jf Hanson, C. H. (Ed.) 1972. Alfalfa Science and Technology. pp. 39-40, 767-768, No. 15. Ser: Aronomv, Madison, Wis. Y Agronomist, International Programs Division, ARS, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Hyattsville, Md. 235

it is grown as an annual because of intolerance to monsoon rains,

resulting in waterlogging and competition from weeds.


is an excellent source of forage from October to June but does

poorly during the hot and humid monsoon season.

In southwestern India, comprising the states of Rajasthan,

Gujarat, Maharastra, and Tamilnadu, and characterized by heavy­ textured soil, alfalfa is seeded on tops of ridges.

Yields of

green forage average about 33.3 mt/ha (14.9 tons/acre).


yields range from 200 to 300 kg/ha (178 to 268 lb/acre).

In the northwestern section of the Great Plains, in the

states of Jammu, Kashmir, Punjab, Haranya, Western U. P., Bengal,

and parts of Madhya Pradesh, alfalfa is usually broadcast or

sown in drills on unridged, light-textured soil. forage average about 36.5 mt/ha (16.3 tons/acre).

Yields of green

Seed yields are

lower than in the south, and range from 100 to 150 kg/ha (89 to 134


Traditional varieties are Kandhar or Quetta, Persian or

Arabian and Meerut. Persian has been popular in the southwest

and Meerut in more northerly areas.

Heinrichs et al. I- state that alfalfa is quite productive in

Hay and June in the Plains of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and

l/Hanson, C. H. (Ed.)

1972. Alfalfa Sci. and Tech. pp. 767-768/

No. 15.


Madhya Pradesh. it

Grown mainly on irrigated land in recent years,

has become more popular with farmers because it

competes well

with Egyptian clover (berseem) during winter season, and provides

green fodder after the harvest of berseem. Up to now two Indian-bred cultivars have been released and are gaining in popuiaz;'ty, namely:

Sirsa 8 and Sirsa 9, produced

at the Fodder Research Station, Sirsa, Haryana. "An integrated research program involving plant breeders,

entomologists, plant pathologists, and animal nutritionists has

recently been initiated at the U. P. Agricultural University,

patterned after Land Grant colleges in the USA.

Alfalfa research

includes selection for higher yield and resistance to downy mildew (P.


and production of hexaploids by crossing colchicine­

induced octaploids with natural tetraploids.

Seed production is a

problem in alfalfa because the Indian honeybee (A. itdica F.) is not an effective pollinator.

A selection program has been started

for high seed. fertility and resistance to the pea stem borer. Mehra et al. have reported findings on pollination and seed setting." Research centers are:

Division of Plant Improvement, Indian Grassland and Fodder

Research Institute, Shansi, Uttar Pradesh.

Uttar Pradesh Agricultural University, Pantnagar, Dist.


Department of Plant Breeding, Hissar Agricultural University,



CEREAL GRAINS. - Numerous strains of wheat, barley, sorghum, and

millet have long been cultivated in Asia.

In Burma and Yunnan, China,

cereal crops are raised in isolated forest plots that have been slashed

and burned. In India, about 15 years ago, the total acreage of cereal

grains exceeded rice by two to one. The total rainfall and rainfall

regime of India and Thailand are similar, and one might expect to find

a similar emphasis on non-rice cereals in Thailand.

Yet, with the

exception of sorghum, upland grain crops are almost non-existent in


With per capita income on the increase and marketing facilities

improving, many people in Thailand are gradually turning away from their

traditional rice-based diet toward greater use of foods prepared from

wheat and other cereals.

The growing of cereals should be done in such countries as Thailand

or India during the dry season, under irrigation, and when prevalent

insects and diseases are at a minimum.

During the period from 1956 to 1966, Thailand imported annually an average of 27,000 m. tons of wheat


unmilled grain and flour - with

an average value of $3.9 million (U.S.). were valued at $6.3 million (U.S.).

In 1967, imports of cereals

During CY 1969 imports of wheat

alone amounted to 48,475 m. tons, compared with 40,426 tons in 1968, or an increase of about 20 percent.

Of this quantity, Australia

accounted for 37,554 tons, and 7,642 tons from the United States.


Barley imports, mainly from the Netherlands, were 24.1 tons in 1969,

compared with 11.3 tons in 1968.

Imports of oats during 1969 were

registered at 57.8 m. tons, an increase of 44.2 tons over 1968.


imports in 1969 were 101.6 tons, from Australia, compared with no imports

in 1968.

Malt imports, from the United States, Australia, Austria, and

West Germany, increased slightly to 5,796 m. tons, compared with

5,649 tons in 1968.

It is expected that imports of cereals and grain

products will continue to increase to meet the demand of a growing


Attempts to grow wheat in Thailand, so far, have not proved success­ ful, and it is recommended that preliminary field trials with wheat,

barley, and other cereals should be conducted in the cooler valley

bottoms in the Northern and Northwestern sections of Thailand, where

humidity and rainfall are limited, especially at the time of maturity.

Tests with grain sorghum have been very satisfactory in warmer


Resistance to shoot fly and mildew are major production

factors which need to be resolved before sorghum will continue its rapid

expansion rate.

India is the world's leading grower of millets, with about 40

million acres planted to this crop, chiefly in the western part of the

country, and provides 11 percent of the country's cereal grain.


and China together produce about one-half of the total millet production.

These countries together with Africa, the original homeland of most

millet species, account for 98 percent of the world production.


Millets are classed as "coarse grains" and are considered healthful


Studies made in India have shown that some of the better strains

are superior to wheat, corn, and rice in fats and minerals, especially

calcium and iron, and are equal in other respects. Pearl millet

(Pennisetum glaucum) contains as much protein as the more popular cereal


About 60 million people in India depend on millets for most

of their food and, when the supply is abundant, they appear to be as

well fed as rice or wheat eaters.

Millets often yield as much as sorghum or corn, if grown under

equally favorable conditions. The factor in favor of millets is that

they are better than other cereals in producing a crop under adverse

conditions, where rainfall is scanty or undependable, and the soils are

poor. For example, pearl millet is India's most drought-resistant

cereal, and has been known to furnish a little grain even where the soil

is only 6 inches deep on top of rock, and rainfall is as low as 4 inches

a year. Moreover, millets are tolerant of high temperatures.

Once their possibilities are more fully explored in Thailand,

millets appear to be destined to play an important role in the agriculture

of that country, especially in the Northeast and in the Northern uplands.

It is recommended that germplasm of various strains of millet should

be procured from the. Indian Agricultural Research Institute in New Delhi.

As a short-seasoned grain crop in the tropics, it offers great opportunities

as another cereal grain for feed and food.


The following comments were made by George F, Sprague (P.69)I

Commercial production of sorghum in Thailand is based on two

U.S. varieties; Hegari a,"' Early Hegari.

Both are susceptible to

leaf diseases; so susceptible that all leaves are commonly dead

before the grain is mature.

Other U.S. materials are even more


Extensive evaluations have been made of items from the World

Sorghum collection.

None of these carry a satisfactory level of

resistance to the more important leaf and stalk diseases. Some strains,

however, carry resistance to one or more diseases while others carry

resistance to a different array.

Crosses have been made to combine

a greater array of resistance factors.

Selection within segregating

populations at Farm Suwon have given some very promising types. Some

of these have been purified and either have been or soon will be

entered into regional trials.

The main emphasis in sorghum breeding programs in Thailand

(Southeast Asia) will have to be concentrated on disease resistance.

Insect pests will likely increase in importance as the acreage increases.

The second extensive crop grown in Viet Nam was severely damaged by

midge; not previously recognized as a serious pest in the area.

The eventual plan is to establish random mating populations using

one of the genetic male steriles to enforce cross-pollination.


work will not be pushed vigorously, however, until an array of types

with some degree of pest resistance is available.


In discussing grain sorghum, Maynard H. Gaskins (p328).

writes as follows:

Sorghum bicolor varieties are available with adaptation to highly

diverse environments.

A screening program of two to three years'

duration could be expected to reveal a number of varieties well adapted

to Southeast Asia.

Most selected varieties are best suited for grain production.

However, some are available'which can be cut repeatedly to produce high

forage yields.

Some varieties can be cut one or more times for forage

and then permitted to produce a grain crop.

Although the crop is grown almost exclusively for production of

animal feed in the U.S., sorghum grain is an important human food crop

in Asia. Although the caloric value of the grain is considerably below

that of rice, this disadvantage is offset by higher yield ability, wider

adaptation, higher protein yield and lower labor requirement per unit yield.

The world sorghum collection has been grown at the Federal Experiment

Station of USDA in Puerto Rico, and data have been collected to indicate

the general performance under tropical conditions of the several thousand

lines in the collection. These data will be useful if lines are to be

selected for evaluation in Southeast Asia. Limited quantities of seeds

can be obtained at any time, and large quantities can be produced in

Puerto Rico if needed.


Bernard Leese (p. 29 ) submitted the following assessment of

germplasm sources of grain sorghum in Ethiopia, based on his

field investigations in 1967.

Africa is generally considered to be the home of Sorghum, and

Ethiopia the center of its origin. Indigenous to Ethiopia, it

was one of the earliest of wild plants to be domesticated and

utilized as human food, feed for stock, and building material for

domestic structures.

Sorghum ranks third behind wheat and rice as a world


crop, and extensive attention has recently been given to its


In addition to the large amount of germplasm held

by American breeders, the Rockefeller Foundation, in cooperation

with the United States Department of Agriculture and the Government

of India, has developed a world collection*.

During the 1967

meeting of the International Grain Sorghum Research and Utilization

Conference in Texas, emphasis was placed on the need for sorghum

types with increased protein and related amino acids content.


was also stressed that diversification of plant types is needed to

expand the areas of adaptation and utilization.

The collecting

made in Ethiopia in 1967 was concentrated specifically in gathering

The seed collection is gradually being deposited in the National

Seed Storage Laboratory, U.S.D.A., at Fort Collins, Colorado; the working collection is available at the Federal Experiment while


Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.


germplasm of

indigenous types growing at higher elevations, and

under adverse conditions.

In addition, a sampling of the sorghum and millet genetic

diversity was made in order to establish information concerning

areas where further investigations should be made to obtain


germplasm through intensive explorr ion.

Based on exploratory sampling, it was definitely demonstrated

that concentrated efforts should be made in three specific areas

in Ethiopia to collect additional germplasmf

We have not begun

to tap the rich reservoir of phenotypes and forms of Ethiopian


This was the first United States Department of



Rockefeller Foundation exploration designed to cover

these objectives.

The material assembled will substantially

contribute to the needs of world sorghum breeders.

Ethiopia is a rugged country ranging from deserts below-sea­ level to 16,000 foot jagged mountains that create some of the most

striking landscapes in Africa.

There are two broad highland

regions - a plateau in the central and northern part of the country,

and the smaller Somali plateau in the Southeast.

These flat

plateaux are separated by the Rift Valley and have some of the best

soils in Africa.

They are well-watered and support most of the

Ethiopian population.

The capital, Addis Ababa, is situated on the

central highland, at an altitude of approximately 8,000 feet.

From this central plateau, the country descends in great steps to

the hot deserts along the Red Sea and bordering the Sudanese


frontier in the West. The highlands are interrupted by tremendous

gorges which descend to 3,000 feet or more. The most spectacular

is the gorge of the Blue Nile, originating at Lake Tana, about 200

miles northwest of the capital. The country's economy is essentially

based on agriculture.

The potentials for agricultural development

are varied and the land is extremely rich.

Ethiopia could develop

into the breadbasket of Africa.

Some of the most significant sorghum collections or group of

collections made duting the plant exploration trip in Ethiopia were:


Several uncultivated samples of Sorghum arundinaceum

were collected in the Awash Valley, east of Nazareth, at an

elevation of 1,100 meters. All the collections were made in areas

along dry streams.

This "wild" material was encouraging and gave

an indication as to where to locate indigenous material in the

flood plain area.

Most of the collections made in the Awash Valley

area were of two species, S. subglabrescens and S. durra.


In the Ahmar mountain area near Dire Dawa, we made

many collections of the S. bicolor group. This collection was made

at an elevation 2,300 meters, and was the highest collection made

in this mountain range.

56-B. A series of samples was obtained at Him Agricultural

College at Alamaya. Most of this was collected in the southeastern

area in Sidoma, Bale Harar and in the Arusi Provinces.


A bird resistant type was collected at an elevation of

1,600 meters in the Fades Valley, east of Harrar.


The plant was

2-3 meters tallwith an open head and white seeds.

The Fades Valley,

difficult of access, is said to be rich in sorghum germplasm,


This collection was made near Ambo, west of Addis Ababa,

at an elevation of 2,100 meters on the road to Nekempti. are small, reddish and the glumes chocolate-colored.

The seeds

The form was

called 'Donka Maschila' by the natives. Most of the sorghum in

this area is the open headed type

(S. subg1abrescenz%var; .leieladum).

Between Addis Ababa and Asmara, on the east side of the

highlands, samples were collected in the valleys around Kambolchia.

The collections were

-varied in phenotypic characters, so that

this area could rightly be called the cradle of sorghum.


elevation of this area ranges between 1,900 and 1,200 meters, and

contains materials representing sugary endosperm types, yellow durras and fields of red, small seeded types associated with higher elevations.

The most advanced cultural practices are in use in this

area for the production of corn and sorghum.


This sample

was collected about 20 kilometers north of

Alamata, in the Wallo Province.

The elevation was 2,700 meters.

This w.e the highest elevation in Ethiopia, recorded by me,

where plantings of sorghum were found. of

This area contains a wealth

germplasm for cold soil sorghum.

Outside of Asmara, we were impressed with a field of sorghum

that did not represent material we had seen before.

We asked the

farmer about the history of this particular sorghum and was told

that it came from the United States several years ago and was


DeKalb sorghum.

Of course, it was material from outcrossing, and

was different from the sorghums we had seen in Ethiopia.

R-297 was collected 160 kilometers south of Bahar Dar, at an

elevation of 2,000 meters.

This collection was one of the few

fields of sudangrass seen under cultivation.

Several sorghum collections were made at Dejen, cn the west

side of the Blue Nile Gorge, at elevations of 1,000 to 2,600 meters.

Several sorghum collections were made south of Addis Ababa,

near Shaskamane, in the Rift Valley~which were similar to the

material collected in the areas of Kombalchia, Keren, Tessenei

and in the Blue Nile Gorge.

East or Shaskamane, in the Mendebo Mountains, extensive areas

of undisturbed grassland were found with wild barley and wheat

scattered on the slopes.

Several grasses, such as species of Bromus

and Agropyron, and several wild forage type legumes, were collected.

Most of these collections were made at an elevation of 3,500 meters.

A two-day trip was made to the ai.a of Butajira, along the

west side of the Rift Valley, south of Addis Ababa. soils here are of volcaiic origin.

Most of the

The sorghums were associaced

with plantings of "ensete" (the Ethiopian banana), not evident in

other parts of Ethiopia.


This sorghum seed sample was collected along the Bonga

Road, near Jimma, in the Kaffa Province.

This plant, up to 14 feet

tall, and a heavy producer of small, white seeds, was collected at

an elevation 2,100 meters. The natives called this variety "anchere"

(S. subglabreseens var. oviforme).


The most important collection in the Jimma area was the endemic

wild sorghum species growing on the mountain slopes flanking the

Gibi and Dadessa rivers.

Several collections were made at an

elevation of 1,400 meters.

771-B was an unusual collection made in the area of Nekempti,

west of Addis Ababa.

It was a cultivated type of sorghum growing

wild in a grassland association of Hyparrhenia rufa and Panicum spp.

776-B was an outstanding collection made west of Ghimbi near

the Sudan border.

The plant

was 15 feet tall.

The small brown

seeds and other characteristics were distinct from other sorghums

found in Ethiopia.

One of the characters dermonstrated by this

plant was the relatively even

maturity of all the heads.


of the sorghum types in this area appeared to be very productive.

The Shembu swamp, covering about 25 square kilometers, is

located about 130 kilometers west of Addis Ababa, at an elevation

of 2,500 meters.

The soil is mostly volcanic, and three small

volcanopes flank the northern edge of the swamp.

The wheat crop in

this area is more productive than in any other area observed in


After spending three months in Ethiopia, it was determined

that there is no set maturity date.

Sorghum plants mature

throu3hout the year, although in certain areas, the majority of the

plants mature earlier than in other areas.

For example, most of

the sorghums in Eritrea Province were being harvested in November.

The sorghums in the southern part of Ethiopia, around Dilla, in


Sidamo Province, however, were still in the soft milk stage as late

as December.

"Seepo" is a name generally applied to a weedy sorghum found

in sorghum fields along the main road connecting Asmara in the

north, Addis Ababa in the central highlands, and Jimma in the south.

It is a "shatter cane" type of sorghum, with similar characteristics

throughout Ethiopia.

Most of the sorghum varieties grow at elevations between 1,300

and 2,000 meters. The types found below or above these elevations

were restricted to material tolerant to drought or cold soil.

Little or no material has been collected in the valleys of

the Chercher Highlands, and the southern drainage areas of the

Ahmar Mot


These areas are quite productive and are probably

the center of origin of the late maturing types found in southeastern

area of Ethiopia, especially around Dilla in Harrar Province.

The valley and western mountain areas around Dessie, Batu and

Kombolchia in the Wallo Province can be considered to be the cradle

or the center of origin of sorghum.

Most of the area around Jimmain Kaffa Province, particularly

along the Dadessa river, northward through the Wollega Province and

along the Gibi river, is covered with extensions of high grasses

and chaparral. This area should be a fruitful source of the wild

and grassy types of sorghum species.


OILSEEDS. - In Thailand, as in other humid tropics generally, the

human diet is deficient in fats.

The country is obliged to import sizable

quantities of animal fats, vegetable oils, and their processed products each year.

Oil yielding plants, other than coconut (Coos niudifdra),

peanut (Arachia hvipogaea), sesamum (Sesamum indicum),

and castor bean

(Ricinus communis), are not grown extensively in Thailand, although there is considerable land suitable for their cultivation.

Linseed (Linum usitatissimum). -

One of the oldest of seed oils,

this has long been used as a drying oil in the manufacture of paint and

varnish. It is obtained from the seeds of certain varieties of the flax


Oil-yielding varieties are much bushier and more highly branched

than fiber yielding varieties. 43 percent.

Oil content of the seed varies from 33 to

The yellow-brown liquid oil

can be kept almost indefinitely

in closed containers, but sets to a hard, elastic film when exposed to the


The cake remaining is used as cattle feed, provided hot pressure

process has been used to expreqs the oil. Both seed and seed cake contain

a cyanogenetic glucoside, linamarin, which renders cold pressed cake

poisonous to stock.

Heating prevents the formation of prussic acid from

the glucoside, and renders the cake harmless. This crop could be grown

in the Northeast as it is adapted to about the same climatic and soil

conditions as are the small grains-wheat, oats, barley, and rye.

Tung and Wood Oil (Aleurites fordii and A. muntana). - A large portion

of the oil exported from China is expressed from the seeds of A. fordii,

which is more widely distributed than A. montana and grows in the cooler

sections of central and western China. The less hardy A. montana is found

in southwestern China from Fukien southward to Tonktn.


In China, A. fordii is known as "tung oil tree," and A. montana as

wood oil tree."

Both species are rather short-lived trees.

lives for about 30 years, and the latter somewhat longer. seldom exceed 30 feet in height at full growth.

The former

The trees

Under favorable

conditions of soil and climate both species are rapid growers.

A. fordii

begins to bear fruit when about 3 years old, and sometimes earlier.

A. montana is a slightly slower grower, and begins to bear about the

fourth or fifth year.

In China, trees 9 to 10 years old bear from 1 to

5 bushels (32 to 160 quarts) of fruit.

The seeds constitute slightly

over one-half the weight of the matut.

fruit, the kernels about 30 percent,

and the oil approximately 20 percent.

The oil content of the kernel

ranges from about 40 to 58 percent, depending on moisture content.

Tung trees grow well in a number of different types of soils.


thrive best in well-drained, deep, slightly acid soils well supplied

with organic matter.

They do not thrive in alkaline soil.

Even when

grown in suitable soil they require good care, which includes fertilizing,

cultivation, and the planting of cover crops.

Although the trees may

begin to bear in the third or fourth year, they are usually 7 or 8 years

old when they commence to produce a commercial crop of fruit.

In March 1950 I inspected a small private planting of A. montana

in the hills above Phrae, in northern Thailand.

The trees appeared to

flourish, which is indicative that these species should be adaptable

to that part of the country.


SAFFLOWER (Carthamus tinctorius) - This plant has been cul­ tivated on a fairly large scale for centuries in the drier

environments of India, China,

Turkestan, and other regions

in the Far East; also cultivated throughout the Middle East and

North Africa.



adaptable to both dry-land and irrigation

farming. Safflower is

a much-branched herbaceous annual, varying in

height from 1 to 4 feet. oblong seed. light gray.

an achene,

containing a single

Seeds of most commercial varieties are white or Newer varieties have been developed from a striped­

hull genetic mutant. pollinated.

Fruit is

Commercial varieties are mostly self­

The seed does not shatter, nor does the plant lodge.

Oil content of the seed varies from 24 to 44 percent.


commercial varieties contain 35 to 40 percent oil. Striped-hull

lines with higher seed oil content were released in 1964 for

experimental testing. Hybrid safflower varieties using the thin­ hull gene in

the female lines have been developed commercially.

Reduced-hull lines with seed oil content of 41 to 44 percent were

registered in 1970.

The oil is extracted by pressure or use of solvents.

It is

a fairly good drying oil, usually containing a high percentage of linoleic acid, but little or no linolenic acid.

The principal

industrial use has been for paints, varnishes and alkyd resins; also as a high-quality cooking oil and in the manufacture of mayonnaise and margarine. Current emphasis on polyunsaturated


foods has increased the market potential of the oil.

Meal or seedcake extracted from safflower seed is a protein

feed supplement for cattle and poultry.

Meal from unhulled or

undecorticated seed contains 18 to 24 percent of protein; and meal

from hulled or decorticated seed, from 28 to 50 percent of proteir

In the United States, under the best growing conditions,

safflower yields about the same as barley.

Average yields in

California are about 1,900 kilograms of safflower seed per hectare.

On fallow land crops may yield as much as 2,250 kilograms, while

in the northern Great Plains, yields generally range between 560

and 1,120 kilograms per hectare.

Primary requirements are the

establishment of varieties resistant to prevalent insectsand


In Thailand, under experimental conditions, safflower has

yielded over 1,400 kilograms per hectare.

Yields of commercial

varieties tested ranged from 625 kg/ha for Arizona Composite to

1,440 kilogram for Frio.

Time of planting is critical.


proved to be very susceptible to root rot under irrigated


Unfavorable factor of the crop is the spines.


harvested manually, spineless varieties with lower oil content

and yield would be more acceptable.


Trials on safflower introductions, conducted by Barry W.

Norman, at the Central Plain Agricultural Center, gave the

following results: Table


Safflower Introductions

1972 Dry Season



% Sterility


100 seed

Plant Height

weight g.



230 a





176 b





157 b c





149 b c d





139 bcde





121 cde





119 cde





109 d e







Arizona Composite 100 e Horowitz (Spineless)

Poor establishment and growth, no yield harvest.

SE t 9.83

Means followed by different letters differ at 1% level,

Duncan's Multiple Range Test.


Dr. Carl E. Claassen, President of the Pacific Oilseeds, Inc.,

P. 0. Box 1008, Woodland, California 95695 (in a communication to

the author, dated January 27, 1972) writes as follows on safflower:

"We would be glad to supply seed of 3 or 4 varieties, our best commercial varieties,

to be tested in Thailand.


would include S-208, S-296, which are normal types of safflower

high in linoleic acid. S-301 and S-304. sales.

We would also supply two high oleic types,

Seed from these types should not be mixed in

High oleic varieties have approximately 76% oleic acid

and about 15% linoleic; the rest is made of various other acids.

Linoleic types are essentially 76 to 78% linoleic and about 15% oleic, with the remainder being other saturated acids. is

The high oleic type

quite close to olive oil and makes a very good frying oil, and

is also used in some industrial applications.

Linoleic type is

used both as an edible oil and an industrial oil, and is highly


"All of these varieties have around 40% oil, some as high as 42%.

Although distinct in characteristics, all are good

yielding varieties under our conditions. "These safflower varieties are spiny.

We do not have any

spineless varieties in our seed collection that we could furnish

or test in volume; we have some breeding material that is spineless but it is not particularly high in oil, probably around

36 or 38 percent, and would not be as high in yield.

It would

be advantageous if hand culture could be used in handling this crop.


"Spiney varieties are well adapted to mechanized agriculture,

particularly combine harvesting.

"One essential in safflower production in any country is

that it has to have dry atmospheric conditions after flowering

begins throughout maturation.

On the other hand, the crop does

require a considerable amount of water to produce maximum yields

at high fertility. The soils found best for safflower here and

in other areas of the world where we grow the crop are those that

have a natural high water table 3 or 4 feet from the soil surface.

These types of soils are sometimes found where rice is frequently

grown, but not all rice soils have high water table lands.


soils considered satisfactory are deep loams with 10-ft depth, and

where there is sufficient rainfall to saturate the soil profile

down to 10 feet. to 10 feet.

Safflower on loam soils will tap moisture down

Other soils also found satisfactory are medium to

heavy clay soils with at least 4 to 6 feet of depth.

If these

soils can be filled with water, they contain sufficient moisture

to produce a crop during dry season, even if it never rains

after planting.

"Soils classed as unsuitable for safflower are light,

sandy soils regardless of depth; shallow, heavy soils that have a

hard-pan about 1 or 2 feet from the surface; and poor, gravelly,

or rocky soils.

In our breeding nursery of safflower, there are

literally thousands of lines in variuus stages of development from

F1 through F8 .


Sesane (Sesamum


As in other countries in Asia, including China

and India, this annual plant has been cultivated in Thailand since remote times.

The Central plain is of Phitsanulok.

the most important producing area, especially the Province

It is

also cultivated in Khorat, and to some extent in northern

Thailand, but rarely in the Peninsula.

Cultivation is somewhat limited, as it must

be grown in separate fields during the rainy season.

Also, it is somewhat

difficult to harvest, and the yield is relatively low.

Sesame is one of the most important of the oil seeds grown in China and India, where several million acres are devoted to its cultivation. are white (to pale yellow), dark red, brown or black. known as black or white. seeds.

Sesame seeds

Commercially, the seed is

"White sesame" must contain at least 85 percent of white

When "black seed" exceed 15 percent, allowance is made in price in pro­

portion to the quantity of black seed present.

When 25 or more percent is present,

the seed is not classified as white.

The seed contains from 50 to 57 percent of oil.

Brown or black seeds are said

to contain the most oil, but that from white seed is considered superior in quality.

In Asia and other countries the oil is expressed in three stages. pressing is made cold.

The first

The cold-pressed oil, after filtration, is ready for

edible purpose. The second and third pressing are made at higher temperatures and


The crude oil varies in color from yellow to a dark amber, while the

refined oil is golden to pale yellow, and almost tasteless.

The oil is used

domestically for edible purpose, such as for cooking, the manufacture of margarine and shortening, since it can be kept at high temperatures for a long period without becoming rancid, and is also used as an illuminant. the oil extraction is used as animal feed. it furnishes a good fertilizer.

The pressed cake obtained from

Because of its high nitrogen content,

In addition to the oil, sesame seed is also used

in various countries in preparing various kinds of confectionery.

Both seed and

leaves are also utilized as demulcents and for other medicinal purposes. 257

POTAOES (Solanum tubetdaum).

In volume and value on a world basis,


Irish or white potato exceeds all other crops, including wheat.

With the

exception of lowland tropics, it is grown more universally than any other crop.

The best temperature for production is 60* F, and it is stated that tuberization

does not take place

above 80*.

However, in Trinidad to 100 N, the Dutch

1patrones" and "arka" have yielded up to 10 tons per acre in experimental cul­ tivation when grown in the dry season with irrigation.

During the past decade potato production in India, for example, has more

that doubled, rising from less than 2 million metric tons annually to more than

4 million tons.

A further substantial increase may be expected within the next

few years because of new high-yielding disease and insect resistant varieties, and

improvements in culture and storage.

Traditionally, grains furnish the bulk of low-cost calories in warm countries.

Formerly, potatoes, so important in temperate regions, remained insignificant in

India, even though the dry cool winters of the north and central regions provided

excellent growing conditions, and abundant labor helped to make the crop attractive.

The cool period is followed by the hot sumer season, when maximum daily temper­ atures climb to 1


* F or higher, during late April to early July.


potato spoilage was excessive and production was limited to the amount usable only

during a few weeks after harvest.

Now, refrigerated storage facilities for

potatoes are frequent throughout the area from the Pakistan border to central

Uttar Pradash. In 1966 and 1967 the Central and State governments of India pub­ licized the need for increased production and assisted in the distribution of

potato seed.

Mosaic virus is a serious pest in India as in other producing areas, where

climate permits substantial activity of aphids or other sucking insects.


the years seed grown on the plains, where aphids are active throughout most of


the year, became progressively more infested with mosaic virus and the seed

furnished poor yields.

Until a few years ago, the consensus was that seed

should be purchased only from aphid-free hill districts and domestic needs were

met in part from imports.

Recent efforts of Indian scientists to improve potato

seed are showing favorable results.

The Central

Potato Research Institute

at Simla, and its field stations in the hills now produce reasonably good

foundation seed.

A few years ago research conducted at the potato station at Babugarh, near

Hapur in Uttar Pradesh, indicated that planting potatoes about mid-October and

removing the vines in mid-January resulted in better seed, good growth and

excellent virus control suring periods of low aphid activity.

The hill growers

will probably be able to produce quality seed, superior to that obtained in the


The rapid increase in potato production in India during the past years,

and year-round availability of the commodity improves the prospects of white

or Irish potato in playing a more important role as a source of food in the

northern part of that country.

Thailand produces about 7,000 tons of potatoes annually.

Judging by

the success obtained with this crop in northern India, some of the upland

areas in northern Thailand should be suitable for the. growing of Irish potato.

It is suggested that germplasm of potato seed, especially that developed for

the tropics and resistant to tropical diseases and insects, should be obtained

from the Department of Agriculture at the University of Taiwan; from Dr. M.

Singh, Director, The Central Potato Research Institute in Simla, India; and

from the International Potato Research Institute at Lima, Peru.


ARROWROOT (Maranta arundinacea)-/.- The true arrowroot

starch of commerce may be prepared from the rhizomes (commonly

called roots) of various species of Maranta, including

M. indica, t. nobilis and M. ramosissima but nowadays obtained almost

entirely from M. arundinacea, a plant indigenous to tropical America

and the West Indies.

The plant is cultivated on a large scale only

in St. Vincent, and is generally known as "West Indian" or "St. Vincent"

arrowroot, which should not be confused with "Brazilian" arrowroot

(Manihot utilissima--cassava starch), "Queensland" arrowroot

edulis--canna or Tous-les-mois starch), "British Guiana" arrowroot

(Dioscorea alata--yam starch), or other starches also known as


The term "arrowroot" is probably derived from the Carib word

"Araruta" meaning "mealy root."

Other suggestions are that it refers

to the use of the pulp of fresh roots to treat wounds caused by

poisoned arrows or that the name may refer to the shape of the

pointed tapering roots themselves.

M. arundinacea is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to a

height of 1 - 1.75 m. It bears oval or lanceolate leaves, and

white flowers arranged in clusters,

Although the plant flowers

profusely, it rarely sets seed and, perhaps for this reason, hybrids

have not as yet been propagated.

Root stock forms fleshy cylind­

rical rhizomes below the soil surface. These are about 2.5 cm thick

Source: Raymond, W. D., and J. Squires, 1959. Tropjcal Sin

1(3): 172-195.


and from 20 to 45 cm long.

Rhizomes are divided by joints into

sections of about 2.5 cm and are covered with regular pale brown

or white scales at each joint.

Root cuttings (tops of rhizomes

which are cut off at the starch factory) and young off-shoots are

used for propagation. Planters in St. Vincent distinguish two

varieties--creole and banana.

The creole variety has relatively

separate thin rhizomes which penetrate more deeply into the soil than

the shorter, fatter rhizomes of the banana variety, growing in clusters

close below the surface.

Banana variety is, therefore, more easily

harvested and, because of its lower fiber content, is easier to

process than the creole, although it deteriorates more rapidly after


In practice, the type of soil mainly dictates the variety

to be grown, although both varieties are often grown side by side,

and usually harvested at the same age.

In St. Vincent, the sandy loam soil contains minerals of


canic origin. With its heavy rainfall, the island is admirably

suitable for growing the arrowroot plant, which demands a plentiful

supply of water and free drainage.

Large quantities of clean fresh

water are also essential in the manufacture of the starch.


is found in the numerous rapid streams which run east and west

from the central range of mountains to the coast.

Planting usually

begins in May, at the beginning cf the rainy season, after the soil

has been ploughed or thoroughly forked.

Holes 5-8 cm deep are then

made with hoes, and selected pieces of rhizomes or "bits" are dropped

in and covered with soil.

The land may have to be weeded from three

to six times each season. The crop matures in about eleven months,


when the leaves begin to wilt and turn yellow.


arrowroot might be harvested throughout the year,

appears that t.bject to suitable

weather conditions, but harvesting is generally concentrated during

November to April.

Roots reach maturity when they are 10 to 12

months old, depending on the month of planting.

Maximum starch

content is obtained when they are approximately 12 months old,

after which the starch content declines and more sugars are found.

Maximum yield of starch from the roots is to 11 months old.

obtained when they are 10

Although roots have a higher starch content when

12 months old, the fiber and cell structure of the roots become

tough, so that it ic difficult to extract the starch.

Further work

involving different soils and varying periods of growth, are necessary to determine whether a better system of cultivation may be adopted than that at present in common use. Modern starch processing

factories are a heavy investment and the greater the proportion of the year they can be kept occupied, the more economic will be the op­ erating cost.


the period of harvesting the roots could be

extended, the factories could be run for a larger portion of the

year and overhead expense could consequently be reduced.

Occasionally, other crops are grown on land used for arrowroot. Sweet potatoes are often grown for a short period of about 5 months.

The Agricultural Department, St. Vincent, carried out experiments

on the use of fertilizers, as a result of which they recommend a

NPK mixture in the ratio of 8 : 5 : 14 in dressings up to 360 kg/ha. :Maximum results are obtained when the NPK mixture is applied at the flowering stage 3-1/2 to 4 months after planting.


After continued cropping on the sane land, the cre'le variety often develops thin useless roots known as "cigar" roots.


variety does not have the same tendency to form these thin roots. Hence, this variety is sometimes preferred for planting on soils

which tend to give poor rhizome development.

Harvesting lasts from late October to early April. On

account of steep gradients in St. Vincent, the plantings are

normally terraced and peasants usually start harvesting at the

bottom of the terrace, digging up the rhizomes as they work uphill

and heaping them for collection.

As digging proceeds, weeds and

refuse are buried to provide organic compost, and "bits" are

planted at the same time to ensure continuation of the crop.

Successive crops are harvested for 5 to .6 years before the land is completely cleared and tested before replanting.

Arrowroot occupies about 5,000 ha in St. Vincent.

Yield of

rhizomes is measured in baskets per hertare, 1 basket containing

roughly 45 kg. On a good land yield is 500 baskets per hectare,

on fair land 375 baskets, but on poor land only 175 to 200 baskets per


Average yield of starch in St. Vincent is 2.5 tons per hec­

tare, although some good land gives 3.75 tons per hectare; on poorer

land, yields were only 1/2 ton per hectare.

The method of extractinR starch shows little variation in older


The process consists essentially of crushing the roots

after washing, mixing the crushed roots with water, passing the

cream over a series of sieves with 60 and 120 mesh to separate the

fiber and allow the starch to settle on long tables.


The starch

is then lifted from the tables, mixed with water and resettled

overnight in small concrete vats, after which some extremely fine

fiber, or "madungo," is removed.

In some more progressive

factories, this operation is carried out with centrifuge.


the starch is air-dried on racks. Tables used for starch settlement

are usually made of concrete and often show signs of corrosion, prob­ ably due to the presence of acids in the rhizomes.

Most of water

supplied to the factories is now chlorinated to prevent bacterial

fermentation and this has improved considerably the quality of the


The process adopted at the modern Central factory is somewhat


On arrival at the factory the rhizomes are thoroughly

washed in special machines, then cut into small pieces before being

rasped and crushed into a pulp which is passed in a continuous

flow of water on to a series of three vibratory sieves.


remaining on the sieves are crushed and sieved twice more, and the

starch milk is then pumped up to the separator.

Continuous centri­

fugal separator replaces the old separating tables over whose slightly

inclined surfaces the starched milk flowed slowly throughout the day,

the starch settling to the bottom of the trays in the process, to be

dug out when the flow for the day's work ceased.

The old method of

separation involved an inevitable loss because some particles of

starch remaining in suspension were carried over; also, the length

of time the starch was in contact with the "fruit water" (anything up

to 12 hours) was prejudicial to the production of the highest quality

starch, -since the "fruit water" accelerated fermentation and tended


to give a characteristic musty odor to the final product.

In the

new process the separator divides the starch from the "fruit water"

within 4 minutes.

It is then mixed with fresh water, passed

through a fine sieve of 120 mesh wire cloth and recentrifuged.

(Fruit water" is the term for the water which has accompanied the

starch through its extraction processes.)

The starch output from the second centrifugation is mixed

with fresh water treated with sulphurous acid (to control fermen­ tation) and fed into settling tanks.

After the starch has settled,

the supernatant liquid is run off and the upper layers of sediment

are washed away by vigorous hosing.

This serves to remove as much

as possible of the fibers still remaining in the starch.

Starch is next dried to a moisture content of about 17 percent.

In the new factory this is effected by a mechanical steam-heated

drier capable of drying up to 8 tons of starch in 24 hours.


desired degree of moisture content can be obtained, and the entire

drying process takes only 2 to 3 hours, a great imp:ovement on the

old method of air-drying.

The final process is sifting and bagging of the finished


Most high-grade arro-rroot is "dressed," that is the

granules and lumps are converted to fine flour.

The fibrous debris or "bittie" remaining after extraction of

starch is usually thrown back on the land or utilized as a cattle

feed, but it is still rich in starch.

In the Central factory it

is passed through a horizontal steam grinder which pulverizes the

fiber and releases the starch, and is then fed into the main


stream emerging from the first operation.

Experiments made in the develop.ent of a small arrowroot

starch industry in Antigua have shown that salinity in the processing

water adversely affects the viscosity of the finished starch. This

factor may have ensured the emergence of the St. Vincent industry as

the principal surviving representative of arrowroot processing in

the West Indies, as St. Vincent abounds in streams of pure water.


one time, arrowroot starch was made in other West Indian Islands,

including Dominica, Barbados and Jamaica, and small quantities are

still made today in Antigua and Honserrat.

Outside the West Indies,

it is doubtful whether any large-scale processing of true arrowroot

occurs, although small amounts have been prepared until recently in

Malagasy and .Mauritius.

The grading of arrowroot starch is based mainly on the seven

following characteristics: Color, cleanliness, moisture content, ash

content, pulp and fiber content, pH and vicosity.

Arrowroot starch has a high maximum viscosity and yields a very

smooth Jelly or paste.

It is of particular value for infant foods,

puddings and dietetic purposes. arrowroot biscuits.

It also forms an ingredient of

Other uses are as a face powder base and for

certain tmes of glue.

Its use is somewhat limited by its high

price as compared with other starches more common in commerce.


Table 19

Exports of Arrowroot from St. Vincent for Selected Years

Country Aruba, N.W.I. . Belgium . . . *

. . . .

1928 *











1948 10





Quantities in lb.

3,645 2,200

5,040 ­

573,745 260,032 5 3,150 30,000 4,440

650,404 254,499 -1,050

British Guiana and British

West Indies . . . . Canada. . .. .. .. .. Curacao . . . .. ...

Dutch Guiana.

France. . . . . Germany .. .. Holland . . .











197,270 239,171 8,755

166,611 610,736 -

206,048 97,205




23,520 34,956 22,400

191,968 39,360 64,400

10 -­ -


11,000 2,400* 5,400




5,880 1,200




1,245,958 448,000 -

2,050 76,000 7,800* 3,200

St. Thomas (U.S.A.,West

Indies) ...... ..

United Kingdom . . . . .1,933,436 United States of America.. 1,408,672 Other countries .... 2,240



*Figure for West Germany only.

504 1,417,920 5,548,590 --

1,757,249 4,619,933 5

810,020 840,030 7,011,540 7,263,150 -








1,242,381 419,200


860,824 460,000


2,000 44,000 4,200* 3,200

­ 62,000




1,712,800 6,933,405 782

1,674,500 6,517,800 -







SUNN HEMP (Crotalaria fiber in India.


This has long been an important

Obtained from a leguminous plant, it is also known

as Benmres hemp, Bombay, Brown, Madras, and Sann hemp. Sunn hemp,

as a source of fiber, is grown extensively almost throughout all of


Although small as compared with its cultivation for fiber, it

is also grown to a certain degree as a green manure crop for

renovating the soil in rotation with grain or cash crops. It is also

considered a good fodder crop, fed both green and dried like hay, or

is grazed in the field.

The plant is an erect shrubby annual, attaining a height of 5 to

12 feet or more, depending on the fertility of the soil. It has a

long taproot and numerous branch roots, covered with many nodules,

characteristic of leguminous plants.

Due to the variation in the soil and climatic condition in

different parts of India, the methods of cultivation vary to some

extent. It may be grown on almost any type of soil free from

water-logging, but prefers a light well-drained loam.

Growth is

vigorous in clayey or low-lying areas, but the fiber is sually

coarse and the yield is low compared to the green weight. The

preparation of the soil is not as thorough as for 6ther crops. Sunn

hemp is usually grown as a single crop when intended for fiber.


India it is usually grown as a summer crop, sown at the conmencement

of the southTest monsoon, in May or June, and harvested before the

end of October. In some areas of Bombay, Bengal, and Bihar Provinces,

it is cultivated as a winter crop, sown in October-November, and

harvested in February-March. however, it

In Madras and other areas in

may be grown as a suimmer or winter crop. 268

the south,

Seeds are

usually broadcast, but in some areas it is occasionally sown by

bullock-drawn drills.

The seed planting rate is usually 60 to 80

pounds per acre.

As in other bast plants, the vegetative growth and development

of Sunn hemp, a short-day plant, are greatly influenced by the time

of sowing.

In India it has been obscrved that the time of sowing

and the nature of rainy season in the early part of crop growth

influence the yield.

The earlier the seed is sown the better the

growth and stand of the plants.

Hemp sown immediately after the

break of the monsoon gives a significantly higher yield than that

obtained from a crop sown later. In some areas best growth is obtained in plants sown in April and May. To obtain fiber of good quality, harvesting should be done at the advantageous time ­

when the plant is in the flowering stage,

at the pod-formation stage, or when the seeds are fully mature.

Harvesting is usually done by cutting the plants close to the

ground with a sickle, but in some areas in India harvesting is done

by pulling out the entire plant.

The harvested plants are usually

allowed to dry in the field for 2 or 3 days, until the leaves wither

and drop. They are then tied into bundles, which are submerged in

nearby tanks, pools, or streams and weighted down.

After wetting,

the fibers are washed and dried. In some areas a com on practice

is to twist and tie the dried fiber in hanks or small bundles before

storing or shipping to market.

In Andhra Pradesh the fiber strands

are not twisted, but simply tied at the lower end.


In India, during recent years, the area under production has

been approximately 500,000 acres, distributed mainly in 11 states,

and with average production of about 77,000 tons per annum.


yield varies widely in different States from 330 to 700 pounds per

acra,, with an average of 340 pounds. Sunn hemp is susceptible to a number of insect pests and

diseases due to attack by fungi and viruses.

When subjected to

virus attack, the stems become weak and the leaves are crinkled.

As a result, production from the affected crop is low. serious insect pests are:


Sunn hemp moth (Utetheisa pulchella), the

caterpillars of which feed on the leaves causing defoliation; and

stem-borer (Laspeyresia pseudonectis), which bores to the top shoot

of the plant, and causes considerable damage to the crop each year.

Wilt caused by Fusarium udum var. crotalariae affects both young and

old plants, and anthracnose (Colletrichum curvatum) causes

considerable damage to seedlings.

The quality of the fiber is determined by its length, strength,

fineness, colo

iniformity, and the extent of extraneous matter.

Sunn hemp is essentially a cordage fiber.

More than 70 percent of

available supplies in India are used for making ropes, twine, and


In India the most important use is for making twine for

fish nets, and a small quantity is mixed with wool to make carpet­ yarn.

It is now used as an admixture with jute when there is a

shortage of jute.

In Europe it is utilized as a substitute for true

hemp (Cannabis sativa) in

the manufacture of twine, cord, matting,


packing, tarpaulin, rugs, carpets, fire ho3es, soles for shoes,

sandals, and marine cordage. Cordage from Indian hemp is considered

more resistant to saline water than Russian hemp. The tow, or short end obtained by combing the fiber, is used for caulking the seams of ships. After extracting the fiber, sunn hemp sticks are usually used as fuel, or for thatch.

Good quality paper has also been produced in

India from these sticks.

The pulp has a short fiber, with satisfactory

strength and a good formation.

Preliminary screening and small pulping tests made by George

A. White and J. R. Haun,

of the U. S.

Department of Agriculture,

indicated that this plant posseses good pulping characteristics,

and when macerated,

a high yield may be obtained.

Sunn hemp bast fibers imported intb the United States and the United Kingdom are used mostly in the manufacture of cigarette and

high quality tissue paper.

This fiber is particularly desirable

for cigarette paper because of its high cellulose and low ash content.

Sources of germplasm suggested are:

H. B. Singh, Head,

Division of Plant Introduction, Indian Agricultural Research

Institute, New Delhi-12, India; Jute Agricultural Research Institute,

Barrackpore, India; Emilio Bruno Germeck, Section of Economic

Botany, Institute of Agronomy, Campinas, Sro Paulo, Brazil; and

Jarandyn Marquest Pimentel, Rua Regente, Feijo, 904, Piracicaba, Sao Paulo, Brazil.


GUAR (CYamdgdis tdtra;onoloba).

This erect, bushy annual

legume with angular, grooved branches, attains a height of up

to 3 m.

Probably indigenous to India and Pakistan, it is hardy,

drought tolerant, and is cultivated in drier tropical regions,

such as in Brazil, Australia, Palestine, and the countries of

its natural growth.

It requires only 500 mm or less of annual


Guar grows well in a variety of soils, thriving on alluvial and sandy loams, with well-drained subsoil.

There are several

varieties distinguished by.height of plant, and size and shape of


Some varieties mature in 125-135 days;

others in 160-175

days, some being prolific seed producers, others are excellent

soil improvers.

Guar is grown as a cover crop, forage for cattle, green

manure, as protein supplement in cattle feed, in India as a shade

for young ginger shoots, and pods are eaten as vegetables.


are highly esteemed in India, also, as a substitute for lentils.

The flour from milled seed is the commercial source of guar gum.

It has up .to 8 times the thickening quality of starch, is used as


flocculent and filter acid in mining industry. It is also used

as an appetite depressant, in cosmetics, hand lotions and creams. Because of.its colloidal nature, it

acts a. a stabilizer and

thickener in food products, such as ice cream. It is of value

as a beater additive to improve the strength of certain grades



In the textile industry it is used in warp sizes,


printing pastes, and certain finishes.

In India and Pakistan the guar industry is a valuable

source of foreign exchange.

Raw guar gum is exported to the

United States, where it is refined, also to Greece, Italy, the

Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland.

Because of its drought tolerance, this crop should be

adaptable to the Northeast, and other similar areas in

Thailand. The crop can be grown in rotation, with cotton,

corn, sorghum and vegetables.

It is also considered a good

summer crop in small grain land. It produces

good yields of

pods when sufficient moisture is available. When rain-fed, it



about 10,000 kg!ha of green fodder and 700 kg/ha of

Under irrigation,

yield may be increased 100%, and feed

yields of 1,300 to 1,800 kg/ha, depending upon the variety.


PYRETHRUM (Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium).


Commercial pyrethrum is

prepared from the dried flowers of a plant native to southern Europe, and

grown in tropical regions as a source of insecticide. thrives in a warm climate, and generally in rocky soil.

It is a perennial crop,

This crop should be

adaptable to Thailand, in areas where there is an abundance of labor for

planting and harvesting. It is toxic to a wide range of harmful insects, but

its toxicity to man and animals is low. Although there is a continuing develop­ ment of synthetic organic insecticides, pyrethrum is still used rather exten­ sively as a source of pyrethrin, a base utilized in the manufacture of fly-sprays

for livestock. price.

The pyrethrin content of the flowers is the basis for the market

Most of the pyrethrum or insect flower on the world market is produced

in East Africa or northwestern South America.

During 1969, imports of crude

pyrethrum amounted to 468,914 pounds, of which 333,926 pounds originated in

Rwanda-Burundi, 67,433 in Tanzania, and smaller quantities in Kenya, India, and

Peru. During the same period, imports of refined or processed pyrethrum (extract)

reached 727,561 pounds, with Tanzania, Kenya, and Ecuador accounting for the

major share.

This plant may be propagated vegetatively by crown division, but most often

it is grown from seed.

It is estimated that 5 ounces of seed should produce

15,000 plants, sufficient for one acre of land.

In planting, the seed should

be mixed with sand, broadcast on the surface of the seedbed, covered lightly

with soil, and watered sparingly. When the seedlings are 3 to 5 inches tall,

they are ready to be transplanted to the field. year, aud flowering heads are picked. best yield.

Flowers form during the second

The second and third harvest give the

The flowers are dried in the shade or ariificially. A production

of 700 to 800 pounds of dried flowers per acre is considered satisfactory.


SPICES:q A nun.

of spices that have long figured in international

trade could be grown successfully in Thailand.

The most important


Cardamon (Elettaria cardamomum).

This perennial herb grows spon­

taneously in moist forests of Thailandbut no plantations have been estab­ lished.

The seeds are aromatic and command a high price in world market.

Forests of Pattani and other provinces in southern Thailand and the area

along the southeast coast of the mainland should be favorable for this


It yields an essential oil.

Clove (Eugenia caryophyllata).

tropical areas of Asia.

This tree is native to the humid

It grows best near the sea, as the warm, moist

sea breezes favor growth of the tree and ample development of flowers

and fruit.

The southwestern slopes of the lower Peninsula and the island

of Phuket, as well as the moist forest on the mountain slopes north of

Chanthaburi, on the southeast coast should be favorable for this species.

Cinnamon, Ceylon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum).

Several varieties of this

tree grow in Ceylon, some growing spontaneously, others are cultivated.

The best grade of cinnamon is produced by trees growing in soil with sandy

texture near the seashore.

The southwestern section of the Thai Peninsula

should be favorable for the propagation of the tree.

Cassia (Cinnamomum cassia).

This tree grows wild on hill slopes in

the provinces of Kwangsi and Kwantung, southeastern China.

It is rather

selective, and efforts to grow it outside of its native producing regions

in China have heretofore not been tdo successful.


If it is possible to

obtain germplasm

from a botanical garden, it should be propagated

in the northern provinces, such as Phrae.

Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans). climate and a deep, loamy soil.

This tree requires a hot, moist

It grows best near the sea in

sheltered valleys and under partial shade.

It should be suitable

for the southern Peninsula.

SAVORY HERBS.- These plants are widely used for flavoring foods,

both in termperate and tropical countries.

Species suggested for

propagation on an increased scale in Thailand, especially in the


Mal.7rovince and elsewhere in the North, include:


(Pimpinella anisum); chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium), native to

southern Asia, and its tuberous-rooted varieties are grown and

eaten as a vegetable; coriander (Coriandrum sativum); cumin

(Cuminum cyminum); caraway (Carum carvi); fennel (Foeniculum

vulgare); sweet fennel (Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce), the young

tender shoots and leaves of which are used to garnish foods; sage

(Salvia officinalis); and tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus).

ESSENTIAL OILS.-There is a continuing demand in the world

market for volatile oils.

Among these are:

citronella (Cymbopogon

nardus); West Indian lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus); and vetiver

(Vetiveria zizanioides) which yields an essential oil extracted

from the roots, and is used in the preparation of cosmetics.


plants long known for their essential oils and which could be grown

in Thailand are:

Illicium verum, the fruit of which furnishes the


oil of star anise.

Native to tropical and subtropical East Asia,

this tree grows in the semiwild state principally in the northern province of Kwangsi, southeastern China, and adjacent parts of North Vietnam.

Ylang-ylang tree (Canaga oddrata) bears flowers

throughout the year and yields a highly esteemed oil, suggesting


It thrives in moist, tropical climate, near sea-level,

in rich volcanic or fertile sandy soil.

VANILLA 'qanilla planifolia).-- Vanilla, a successful crop in certain

tropical countries has so far made no headway in Thailand.

It is produced

commercially from within a few degrees of the equator to more than 200 north and south of it. It is planted from near sea level to altitudes of 650 m. or more.

It is a climbing orchid, one of the few members of

this family valued for reasons other than the beauty of its blossoms.

From the cured pod, or bean, as the


is called from the external

resemblance to a bean pod, a flavoring extract is obtained, of which at

least three times as much is consumed as of all other flavors tgether.

This extract is used in preparing confectionery, chocolate, liquers and

perfumery, and for flavoring desserts and soft drinks. vanilla beans is today less than formerly.

The price of

This may be attributed to

the manufacture of synthetic vanillin, now produced on a large scale,

chiefly from eugenol or oil of cloves, as well as from other substances

in increased production.

Source of germplasm is the Papantla region,

State of Veracruz, southern Mexico.



us gativus).


This crop has feasibility of

cultivation by Hill tribes in northern Thailand.

The Plant: True saffron is a low-growing, fall-blooming,

bulbous plant of the iris family, native to southern Europe, where

it is .cultivated commnercially, especially in Spain and Greece, also

in Iran, Afghanistan and elsewhere. It was formerly grown as a

small garden crop in some localit.es in the United States, chiefly

in Lancaster and Lebanon counties, Pennsylvania.

The stigmas of

the flowers form the saffron of commerce used in cookery, for

coloring confectionery, and at one time it was widely utilized in

medicine. Method of Plantting:

A rich, well-drained garden soil favors a

vigorous growth of the plant. on land of medium fertility.

A better quality is obtained

It is propagated from bulbs or corms

which may be planted in August about 6 inches apart each way, and 6

inches deep in well-prepared soil. When grown on a large scale, the

bulbs are often set late in the Spring.

The ground is laid off in

rows about 20 inches apart, and a furrow 6 to 8 inches deep is

opened for each row. The bulbs are set in two parallel rows aboui

4 inches apart and spaced 2 inches in the row. filled and the soil brought to a uniform level.

The furrows are then

Thorough cultivation

and freedom from weeds are essential for good results.

In Spain, long an important producer of this article, it has

been found that saffron does not require special soil.

In Albacete

where best results are obtained, the earth sometimes contains as


high as 40 percent lime.

Only mineral and vegetable manures with 1

percent superphosphate and one-half of a 50 percent mixture of

potassium chloride are used as fertilizers.

Every other year small

quantities of ammonium sulphate are added.

Harvesting and Handling:

The delicate operations of harvesting

and handling saffron, can only be performed by human hands, and no

mechanical equipment can be used.

To be commercially successful,

saffron requires an abundance of cheap labor.

The flowers must be

picked over many times and women and children usually do the work.


this reason, individual patches under cultivation are limited to

areas of 10 to 100 acres, and located close to farming villages.

The purplijh blossoms usually appear in October, bqt the

main leaf growth of the plant is made in the following spring.


bulbs may remain undisturbed for 3 or 4 years, or they may be taken

up early and the cluster divided.

All unsound bulbs should be

rejected, as they are often attacked by a fungus which readily

spreads to the sound bulbs, causing them to rot.

During the

blossoming period, which often lasts from 2 to 3 weeks, the flowers

are collected daily just as they open.

The orange-colored rtigmas

are then removed from the flowers, either by pulling them out or by

cutting them off with the finger nail, after which the flowers are

thrown away.

The stigmas are dried immediately, a common method

being to spread them in a thin layer on a sieve which is suspended

over a low fire.

When fully dry, they are placed in linen bags and

stored in a dry place.


Around Valencia, Spain, for example, the flowers are gathered

fresh in the morning, and the stigmas, 3 In number, are afterwards

separated by hand.

The stigmas are dried in fine sieves over embers

of wood fires maintained at uniform temperature.

The value of the

saffron depends largely on the skill of toasting by evaporating all

moisture without charring or burning the product.

Purity and Adulteration:

A ready and infallible way of

detecting adulteration in saffron, used by analysts, is the fire


Combustion of pure saffron is very rapid, while that of the

adulterated article is comparatively slow and smoldering.

The ashes

of pure saffron rarely amount to 6 percent; adulterated samples

yield 25 to 30 percent.


The yield of saffron ranges between 10 and 30 pounds

per acre, according to the location where it is grown.


50,000 flowers are required to produce I pound of dry saffron.

Consequently, the amount of hand labor involved in removing the

stigmas is large.


In Spal.,i i. i. customary to classify the

product into various grades, according to the length of the stigma,

color, aroma, and degree of purity.

Saffron as a Substitute Crop for Op4.um:

A great deal of

attention has been given in recent years to the elimination of

opium poppy cultivation in Thailand.

However, because of the

importance of opium production in the economy of the Hill Tribes,

particularly the Maeo, this problem is rather difficult.



prime requisite for an alternative crop is that the product must be

light in weight and high in value.

Saffron is a crop which investigators appear to have overlooked,

It grows at elevations similar to the opium poppy, and has a similar

planting time - an important feature for the Hill Tribe economy.

Saffron, moreover, is fairly highly priced.

In December, 1967,

Spanish saffron was quoted at 40 pounds sterling per pound,

equivalent to slightly over 5,104 baht per kilogram (before devaluation).

Dearth of data:

Saffron is a minor crop wherever it is grown,

and thus rarely merits mention in periodicals or crop reports.

Furthermore, exports are erratic and not all coqntrigg whigh Darticinate

in world trade classify the item separately.

However, as the result of numerous inquiries abroad, a fairly

comprehensive picture has now been built up of world production and


Characteristics of saffron:

Saffron of commerce is the dried

stigmas of the autumn crocus (Crocus sativus), sometimes also the styles or tops of the styles.


It appears either as "hay

saffron" which is the unpressed stigmas of the flower, or as "cake

saffron" when the parts have been compressed.

As the labor involved in saffron cultivation is high and the

yield small, the material is subject to much adulteration,notably

with "bastard saffron"'(bastard safflower-Carthamus tinctorius),.

with other parts of the corolla of the crocus flower, with dyed

vegetable matter of other origins, and with a large range of

substances including oil, water, cornsilk, and glycerine.


It is no longer official in the British Pharmacopoeia (1963) or

United States Pharmacopoeia (1965), but Chopra et al

(1958) cite.

earlier British Pharmacopoeia Codex (1949) standards of quality as

well as a table of the average composition of comnmercial saffron.

Saffron has been cultivated and used since early times.


ancient Greece, it was strewn as a sweet smelling herb and its

water extract was the royal color for robes. used as a food flavor and a colorant.

It has also long been

It is still so used for such

purposes, notably by Iranians and Spaniards who add it to rice.

Its use as a cloth dye has been superseded by cheaper synthetic


Nevertheless, one part of saffron will color 100,000

parts of water. obsolete.

Its use in Western medicine is apparently almost

Merck (1960) notes that in medicine, "it was used formerly

in exanthematous diseases, to promote eruption." in Asian medicine.

Chopra et al

(1958) states

It is still used

"as a simulant and

an aphrodisiac, it is considered to be a dovereign remedy, not to

be excelled in virtue by the whole range of drugs in the materia


In Thailand, Sa-ngiam Phongboonrod (1963) notes its use

in melancholia, catarrhal effects in children, and as a circulatory


Saffron is produced in Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Austria,

the United Arab Republic, the Soviet Union, Algeria and India.

Spain produces the best saffron and dominates world trade but

Mdan et al (1965) note that saffron from Algeria and the United

Arab Republic "is in no way inferior to that of Spain."


French and

Italian saffron cannot compete with that from Spain and, in India,

Spanish saffron is quoted at prices higher than that from Kashmir.

Cultivation practices: loamy or sandy soil. 1,600 meters.

Saffron requires a rich, well-drained,

In Kashmir it grows at an elevation of about

Cultivation methods vary.

In Kashmir, it lasts from

10 to 15 years; in France it is uprooted and replanted every three


In Italy it is grown as an annual crop.

bulbs, whic

Propagation is by

in Kashmir, are transplanted in August-September, also

the planting time of opium poppy.

In Spain, farmyard manure is used during soil preparatiou.

Madan et al (1965) state that artificial fertilizers also help to

boost yield.

Production of commercial saffron:

The saffron plant is in

bloom for only about 15 days - in Kashmir, from late October to

early November.

The flowers must be picked each morning and

separation of stigmas must be completed each day.

This requires

handling of individual flowers, and as it requires over 4,000

flowers to yield one ounce of saffron, the labor entailed is


The market value of saffron depends mostly on the method used

to dry the stigmas.

In Spain drying is done artificially, care

being taken to protect the product from dampness and light.


Kashmir the flowers are sun-dried and lower grades are separated by

a sink-float procedure.

The maximum yield of dried saffron per acre in Kashmir is


reported to be 1.08 kg per rai.

In Spain, France and other countries,

yields of 1.45-2 kg per rai are normal:

proper irrigation

and use of suitable fertilizers account for the higher yield,

according to Madan et al (1965)

World trade in saffron: l/Exports of saffron are erratic, and

the picture of world trade is incomplete.

Spain, however, is the

main world producer and supplies saffro:a to some countries which

also export the commodity.

The following table presents available

data for 1966:

Table 20

Saffron Trade


Exports kg.

Imports kg.













From the above table, it can be deducad that the amount of

saffron entering world trade in 1966 was approximately 142 tons.

This, of course, excludes countries .vose statistics do not list the

item separately.

4ata extracted from"Feasibility of Saffron Cultivation by the

Hill Tribes of Thailand," by N. L. Wake and S. Piyapongse (1968).


Table shows the major world impotters of saffron

in 1966 and their suppliers, so far as available statistics are


Table 21 Countries importing over one ton of saffron

Quantity (kg) France Fed. Rep. of Germany Netherlands



Aden Hong Kong Malaysia-Singapore Pakistan Saudi Arabia Kenya-Uganda United States


(thousand baht*)

5,025.4 3,918.6 6.908.6 2,038.1 4,263.1 2,666.7 2,148.6 4,900.0


3,497.2 16,505.4














1 Baht = U. S. $0.05

It is noteworthy that, although saffron no longer has status in

western medicine, occidental countries provide the largest markets

for the material.

Thailand as an importer of saffron: Thailand has had a checquered history in saffron imports from 1964 to 1966.

The quantity,

source, and unit value have varied widelymaking firm conclusions difficult.

It is clear enough, however, that the higher-priced

export market must provide practically the sole support, if local

production is to succeed.


The Tropical Products Institute, London, quotes the

following in relation to prices on the London market, for Spanish



Table 22

November March December

1961 1964 1965 1967


per per per per

lb lb lb lb

c.i.f. c.i.f. c.i.f. c.i.f.

( ( ( (

= 638 baht/kg) = 1,914 baht/kg) = 3,828 baht/kg) = 5,104 baht/kg)

One of the main ieasons for these increases in price is the

rising cost of peasant labor in Spain, now that there are increasing

opportunities for more attractive and better paid occupations in

industry and tourism.

The Tropical Products Institute

also quotes a London merchant

as suggesting a price of about 500/- per pound (3,190 baht/kg),

compared with the current (December, 1967) price of 800/- per pound

(5,104 baht/kg) for Spanish saffron.

At this pric; a good quality

saffron should find a market;"good quality" in this instance means

that the product should have stigmas as unbroken as possible, a good

aroma and a fairly red color.

It should be noted that for the year 1966, Spain exported

292,,031 pounds of saffron, valued at pounds sterling 1,735,100,or

an average of 6 pounds sterling per pound (766 baht/kg).

This is,of

course, considerably less than the London market prices quoted by

the Tropical Products Institute for the period, and it must be

assumed that the bulk of Spanish saffron iri not "good quality."

Of still greater significance, is that the average c.i.f. value

for Indian saffron imported into Thailand in 1966 (India supplied

some 99 per cent of Thailand's total importsin 1966) was 12 baht

per.kilogramior just under 2 shillings sterling per pound.

Again, it must be assumed that the quality of saffron used in Thailand

is very low indeed, or else imports are under-valued.

Prospects of saffron cultivation by the Hill Tribes:


return to the grower of raw opium, so far as can be ascertained,

appears to be about 800-900 baht per kilogram, and the yield is

conservatively estimated at 1.3 kilograms per rai, giving a return

per rai of 1,000 to 1,200 baht.

The best yields of saffron appear to be 8 - 11 pounds per

acre, equivalent to 1.7 kilograms per rai.

Assuming that the return

to the exporter of saffron is the same as the c.i.f. value of

saffron exported from Spain in 1966, i.e. 740 baht per kilogram, the

return per rai, on an exported basis, is about 1,300 baht per rai.

The return to the farmer would, of course, be somewhat less,

perhaps 1,000 baht per rai.

Taking into account that the price of saffron on world market

will probably continue to rise, due to higher costs in the Spanish

industry, it seems that saffron cultivation merits a consideration

as a substitute crop for opium poppies.

Apart from an attractive export market, saffron also has some

other favorable features as a crop for the Hill Tribes. It grows

at altitudes at which the opium poppy is now cultivated.


it would seem to fit in well with the planting calendar of the Maeo,

the main producers of opium amongst the Hill Tribes.

Saffron is planted from May to August, opium poppies in August.

Saffron flowers are picked from late October to early November;

poppy flowers are tapped from late December to early February.

Thus, with saffron oubstititing for opium poppies, corn (maize)

could be inter-planted in April and harvested ik August.

Maize is

a highly important crop in the Maeo economy because it is fed to

pigs and is apparently the major source of first-class protein for

the tribesmen.

Of more importance is that saffron plucking does not apparently

interfere with rice harvesting as does poppy tapping, because

saffron plucking finishes by mid-November.

These considerations are, of course, based on saffron

cultivation practices abroad and assume that saffron would be

replanted annually, as it is in Italy.

The feasibility of such a

regimen would need to be tested locally.

Both saffron and poppies require intensive labor concentration

during the flowering period.

Saffron flowers, however, last only

two or three weeks, whereas opium poppies last several months.

If saffron production is to be successfully undertaken in

Thailand, it seems essential to ensure that the product is at

least equal in quality and as free from adilteratton as Spanish

saffron, exports of which in 1966 were valued at 100 million baht.

To summarize:


Saffron appeare to be a crop which merits close examination

as a substitute for opium poppies.

2. opium.

Returns per rai for saffron approximate those for raw

!4reover, London market prices for saffron have been rising fairly


rapidly over recent years due to rising costs in Spain, the major

producing country.

The comparison in favor of saffron may therefore

be further enhanced.

World trade in saffron in 1966 amounted to 142 tqns.


London price in December, 1967, was 40 pounds sterling per pound (equivalent to 5,104 baht per kilogram), but this price probably refers to above-average-quality material.

Spanish exports alone, in

1966, were valued at 100 million baht. 4.

In 1966, Thailand imported 1,166 kilograms of saffron,

almost entirely from India, at an average value of only 12 baht per


Local production would therefore need to be aimed at a

higher-quality export market, as local demand would apparently be

for low-grade material.


Apart from an attractive export market, saffron also has

other favorable features. opium poppy.

It grows at altitudes similar to the

The two crops have similar planting calendars,

a highly important factor for the Maeo economy.


saffron plucking would not interfere with rice harvesting as

tapping of poppy does.


An expert horticultural appraisal seems to be warranted as

well as a check on future price movements in the world market, to

determine if the world price of saffron will continue to rise.


COMFREY. - Quaker or Russian (S agh LS.

gaperinum >);and Comnon (S.


grjwu); Prickly

off gindle).

According to Richard H. HartIC(CA-NE2,. December 1972) ,this crop has consistently proved itself inferior to the more common forage crops in yield and nutritional value.

Even so, Quaker,

Russian, and Prickly comfrey are frequently promoted as forages. Very high yields, high protein, and high ash content are among

advantages claimed.

Research in the United States and many foreign

countries has shown that these claims are not Justified.


yields in practice are decidely lower than yields promised by promoters,

or the yields of more common forage crops.

protein is


Most comfrey

and much of its ash content results from

contamination with soil. The three species are sold interchangeably as Quaker, Russian or Prickly comfrey and only an expert can tell them apart.


grow from 2 to 4 feet tall and have many large hairy leaves which may feel somewhat sticky.

Blue, white, or pink flowers are borne

in clusters at the tips of stems.

Comfrey produces very little

good seed, so plants are usually started from sections of root or -town. Roots are large, fleshy, and may grow up to 9 feet deep. Yields of more than 1.00 tons of green matter per acre have been claimed, but yields in carefully conducted experiments have not been this high.

Representative yields from various States

and foreign countries, shown below, ranget from highebt dry matter to lowest yield.

When yields from several distinct strains

I/ Agronomist, Light and Plant Growth, Plant Physiology Inst., ARS, USDA, Beltsville, Md. 20705 290

or different management practices were determined in an experiment,

only the highest yield was included in the table.

Table 23

Comfrey Yields

Spacing (inches)

Fertilizer: (lb/A) Manure K (T/A) N '

State or natidn

Yields Green

T/A) D"v

South Korea



























West Germany


Poland Kenya

Cuts per year











0 180 120


























54 '

Yields from other experiments included 54.6 and 11.1 tons of

green matter per acre in British Columbia and North Carolina, and

6.1, 2.1, and 1.1 tons of dry matter per acre in the U.S.S.R.,

Ontario and Quebec, respectively.

These yields were not included

in the table because management data were not available.

Many strains of comfrey are sold, and there are large differ­ ences in yield.

English study included 8 straine of comfrey; the two

poorest yielded only 41 and 68 percent as much as the best strain. Yields of best strain of comfrey were 83, 76, and 62 percent of yields


of kale, timothy, and ryegrass, respectively.

Comfrey yields were

81 percent of red clover yields in Wisconsin and 74 percent of alfalfa

yields in Kenya.

Crude protein content of comfrey in the expeiiments discussed

ranged from 12 to 26 percent.

High nitrogen fertilization and

more cuts per year usually produced higher protein content.


ever, digestibility of comfrey protein was only 38 and 49 percent

in experiments in

the Netherlands and California, respectively.

In comparison, alfalfa protein is over 70 percent digestible.


South Korea, total dry matter of comfrey was 56 percent digestible,

while that of orchardgrass and ladino clover, respectively, was 64

and 73 percent digestible.

Ash content of comfrey was high in most experiments, but much

of the ash may have resulted from soil clinging to hairy leaves of

comfrey plants.

In Kenya study, such contamination accounted for

14 percent of uncorrected dry-matter yield.

Comfrey is

difficult to use as feed.

Grazing very quickly

destroys comfrey plants, while high water content (85 causes problems in haymaking.

to 90 percent)

In a study in the Netherlands, only

two of four attempts to make silage were successful, and even then up to 30 percent of the dry matter was lost during ensiling process. Cutting green comfrey and hauling it

to the animals appears to be

the only way to achieve maximum use without damaging the stand. Yields shown in table indicate that close spacing, high rates of fertilization, and frequent cutting are necessary to produce


yields even one-half of what has been advertised as "100 tons of green matter per acre."

High cost of establishing a stand,,

necessity to cultivate for weed control, high rates of fertilizer

required, difficulties in using the crop, and its failure to match

the performance of more common forage crops, such as orchardgrass,

alfalfa, and red clover, indicate that comfrey has little value

as a forage crop.


GERM PLASM OF FOREST CROPS.-- Carl E. Ostrom (p, Z9) comments on forest germplasm requirements for Thailand: "The primary objective of a germplasm program in forestry for Thailand would be to utilize the germplasm

already available in Asia.


Commonwealth Forestry Institute at Oxford has one or more

specialists in subtropical pines .who have collected seed from

a variety of geographic origins.

Several origins of Pinus merkusii

and possibly other species are probably available from the Institute.

A program of selection and tree breeding is also needed to improve

the local germplasm. "On a visit to Thailand for the United Nations in 1962, I discussed softwood germplasm needs with U. Aung Din, Regional Forestry Officer in the FAO Regional Office in Bangkok. He recommended trial of Pir-us caribaea, P. longifolia, P. occidentalis, P. strobus var. chiapensis, and low altitude species of other genera, such as Araucaria, Agathis, and Podocarpus.

In the meantime, we

have learned that the south Florida variety of slash pine (Pinus elliottii var. densa

has grown more rapidly tr'an any other pine

in certain tropical habitats in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil. This leads us to suggest that this species might be worth trying in Thailand. Another very promising tree at 230 south latitude in Sao Paulo is Cunninhamia or China fir from Taiwan.

This tree

sprouts well and can be grown on a short coppice rotation.


Figure 29. Nursery of Spanish cedar (Cedrela odorata) in foreground, and seed­ At lings and saplings of Casuarina equisetifulia (center and background). Seine , southeast Dahomey, West Africa.


"This country appears to have nothing to offer in the way of

germplasm for hardwood production in Thailand.

However, the Thai-

Danish teak project in Thailand is the natural source of assistance

for teak germplasm. At the present time, the United States would

be interested in germplasm of teak from Asia, but it seems likely

that this need can be met by the Danish Tree Seed Center in Denmark."

Thomas H. Schubert (p. 331 ) suggests the following sources of forest germplasm:

Dr. Jeffrey Burley, Forest Geneticist, Department

of Forestry, Commonwealth Forestry Institute, University of Oxford,

Oxford OXi 3RB, Great Britain; and Danish/FAO Forest Tree Centre,

DK-3050 Humlebaek, Denmark.

Bruce Zobel (p.S29), offers the following comments: is made to the use of pines in Thailand. (-.


One native species

merkusii) has not performed too well under cultivation.

It might be

acceptable but little work has been done on it. P. khasya has been

studied more and in parts of Africa is doing well.

Several trials have

been made; some are good, some are poor growers and crooked.

"I am not familiar with Thailand, but the most used and successful

tropical pine is P. caribaea. The Honduras variety is fastest growing but crooked and has heavy foxtailing.

It grows naturally on both moist

and upland sites, but 99% of the seed is from wet lowlands. good source is from the Bahamas.


But seed are hard to obtain.


has been a great deal of work done on these species in South Africa,

Brazil, Australia and elsewhere.

Some genetically improved stock is




Figure 30, Stand of Gmelina arborea, a soft-wodedO fast­ growing treeq propagated at Parakou, northeast Dahomey, West Africa* Thrives in dry regions.


"There are a number of individuale to whom one can write. A series of publications on the utilization of wood of tropical pines has been issued by the Tropical Products Institute, 56/62 Grays Inn Roa

London W.C.I.

and P. caribaea.

One is on P. merkusii and others on P. khasya

Other sources of information and/or seed are:

Jeff Burley, Commonwealth Forestry Institute, Oxford University, South Parks Road, Oxford, England;

R. L. Willan, Forestry and

Forest Industries Division, Food and Agriculture Organization, Via delle Terme di Caracalla, Rome, Italy' and Garth Nikles, Forest Research Station, Beerwah, Queensland, Australia.

In the Bahamas,

V. P. Ritchie, Forest Supervisor, Crown Lands Office, Nassau, Bahamas,

would be a good contact.

1.t seems that P. caribaea grows well in Thailand. established plantation is only six years of age. naturally at high elevations.


the oldest

P. merkusii grows

It, along with P. kyhasva, grows

satisfactorily in the lowlands, but these are slower growing than the Caribbean pines

Thailand has a pulp industry that uses local hardwoods

but could use pines.0

During a visit to Pakistan and India in late 1971, A. B. Dickerman

(P.328 ), made a brief stopover in Thailand.

Be consulted with Khun

Thanom Premrasmi, Deputy Director General, who presented a brief outline of the research activities conducted I by the Royal Forest Department. He reported that currently there are four regional forest experiment

stations and several substations.

These stations are primarily

concerned with silvicultural problems, and greatest effort is being placed on tree improvement, especially teak.


Assistance is rendered by two

Danish foresters who have been in Thailand for about seven years.


orchards and selection are the principal activities. Technical improvement and management .are receiving the greatest emphasis.

In addition to tree improvement the Forest Department is

concerned about a Teak defoliator, a stem borer apparently related to

a fungus,

and insects infesting flowers that reduce the seed crop.

Also, some studies are underway on artificial reproduction and stand


The impression obtained was that the research program

was well organized, have a competent staff, but problems of insecto

and d isease were not being covered.

At the Forestry Department, University of Kasetsart, Dr. Pit

summarized the situation as follows:

The Forestry School has a total

staff of 60 professionals; have about 600 students, and in 1970 there

were 150 graduates.

Because of current depression in the national

economy, only 5 students obtained employment in forestry (public

employment in forebLLy is the only source of jobs). students were admitted in contrast to 200 in 1970.

In 1971 only 50

Although the faculty is

engaged primarily in teaching, there is a substantial research program

which includes:

1. Engineering"-harvesting methods, surveying, road

design, logging cost. studies, tractor vs. elephant


2. Biology - insects infesting logs, classification

of medicinal plants, volume tables.

3. Silviculture - Cytology of pines, germination

studies, effect of thinning on soils, correlation

of DBH of teak with number of leaves and dry

weight, conpetition of teak crown with other vegetation, relation of height growth and

increment, influence of cover crop on loss of

soil nutrients, and seed bed requirements for

mixed forest.


Dickerman concluded:

"I did not have time to get into the field

and thus can only judge the research program from the discussions. My impression was that the Royal Forest Department and the University both had well organized programs and in both organizations the

development and operation was similar to our own.

Many of the top Thai

foreste-s were educated in U. S. universities and are keeping up con­ tacts and have numeroug visits by Americans, although we do not have any direct aid program.

Of all the countries I visited in SE Asia,

the research program in Thailand appeared to be the most advanced.


am most concerned, however, about the lack of contacts with the U. S.

Forest Service.

We seem to have contacts at the top but not at the

scientist level."

An Institute of Tropical Forestry Research for SE Asia.

Dickerman spent

a brief period with Dr. T. H. Shen, Chairman of the JCRR in Taiwan,

"This was a most stimulating meeting as Dr. Shen not only has a wi.de

knowledge of activities in the Far East, but he has an intense interest

and appreciation of forestry and its place in the economy.

I brought

up the subject of the substantial log export and import trade which

is rapidly developing between Asiatic countries. importer of logs and exporter of wood products.

Taiwan is a large

Unless more attention

is paid to growing timber of the species and quality desired, the

time is not far off when timber will become an item of short supply.


"One serious obstacle is the lack of knowledge of how to grow

and maintain Vreferred species such as teak.

Each country is

struggling with some kind of research program but in total the

answers are not coming fast enough and I am sure that not even all

the critical problems are being studied.

I suggested that what is needed

in Asia is an Institute of Tropical Forcatry Research much like that

serving the area to improve rice production.


institute has been set up in Taiwan for vegetables.

recently a similar

These institutes

have the participation and financial support of several Asian

countries as well as some help from USDA, FAO, AID, PL-480, and

Foundations such as Ford and Rockefeller. Dr. Shen showed great

intere3t in this suggestion and volunteered to help organize such an

institute and to assist in funding. tion to take the lead.

What is needed is some organiza­

It was suggested that the U. S. give the matter

consideration and explore various possibilities.

Because of our

own timber outlook, ue have a sizeable interest in tropical forests


Perhaps working through FAQ-Asian Forestry Commission, through

private Foundations, or other channels, something along this line

could perhaps be initiated."


FERTILIZERq In a report on the 1971-72 fertilizer situation in Thailand, R. G. Muelleil/reports as follows:

"Given the proper treatment and care, the economics of

fertilizer use in Thailand could be much different than it is


today. This conclusion is predicated on the belief that the price

levels of nitrogen fertilizers to farmers could drop by 35Z-40%

and of mixed fertilizers by 10%-15Z with RTG removal of the ban on

private business imports of urea and ammonium sulfate.


the ban should lead to lower prices and .ould increase the consump­ tion of fertili7er in Thailand by 20% in eacn of the next 2 years.

The annual rate of increase in use then is likely to fall back to

8%-12Z for 3-4 years afterward.

This is provided the rice premium

is not reinstituted by the RTG if world rice prices improve.

"Nitrogen Sources--The first consideration regarding nitro­ gen sources for rice is that they should not contain the nitrate


That is, they should supply nitrogen exclusively in the

all-onium form.

The only other consideration affecting the form

of nitrogen fertilizer which should be used relates to the

/ Dr. Mueller visited Thailand during November 15-December 17,

1971 on a fertilizer marketing systems and cost study. Many of

his conclusions parallel those in the 1966 report by an earlier

TVA teami/as well as other reparts by FAO and private consulting


2/ Tennessee Valley Authority. 1966. Fertilizer Situation and Potential.


A Report on the Thailand

so-called acid sulfate soils which occur in part of the Central

These typically have large quantities of sulfur-containing


If left unflooded for any period of time, oxidation of


the sulfur produces an extremely acid reaction.

Because of this,

sulfi-containing sources probably should be discouraged for theze

Urea therefore should be preferred over ammonium sulfate


or, for that matter, 16-20-0, which also contains sulfur.

On the

other hand, those heavily leached soils of the Northeast may

require some sulfur.

"Phosphorus Sources--Data on effectiveness of phosphorus

sources are somewhat conflicting.

Evidence is available at the

Rice Department that shows water-soluble phosphorus to be fixed

quite readily by Fe and Al in these ac±d soils.

However, experi­

ments conducted by the Rice Department in cooperation with TVA,

IRRI, and USAID indicate that TSP is more effective than the more

reactive of the rock phosphates, even for succeeding rice crops.

Under these conditions, DAP (18-46-0) should also be as effective

as TSP.

"This matter seems to warrant more research to determine

the most effective phosphorus sources for the various soil areas.

"Vegetables and Fruits--Fertilizer rates practised on

vegetables and fruits are very high and application practices

quite technical. for rice.


Fertilizer education is at a higher level than

is believed that most of the time these crops have a

cost-benefit ratio of 1-5 or 6. Thus, it appears that vegetable and

fruit producers now are the only ones who can afford to use urea and

amnonium sulfate."



The following statement with recomnendations were submitted by Howard L. Hyland, improvement is




"The modern basis for agricultural

the use of both indigenous and exotic germplasm.

Interest in the exchange of such propagating material is rapidly

growing in countries where the agricultural economy is of utmost


The United States would not be in its present position

as an agricultural leader had it not been for the use of exotic

germplasm commencing about 150 years ago.

The utilization and

preservation of breeding stock requires a central organization to ser­ vice interested researchers, both federal and private, within the


"In 1898 USDA set up the nucleus for such an organization

which has included in its various official names the term Introduction.'


Since the end of World War II the improvement in

methods of travel and communication has brought agriculturists

closer together.

The exchange of students and trainees interested

in agriculture among the various countries of the world are now

more frequent.

International meetings of crop specialists are

frequently held, and in practically all of these, the value of new germplasm in crop improvement is


Many private

organizations such as the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations,


well as technical assistance programs set up by various governments


have also become involved in such matters.

"The distribution and use of breeding materials, including

native cultivars and wild species, requires a system of permanent

recording. In addition, much emphasis is now given to conserving

this germplasm in centers of origin and in other areas where

civilization is making encroachment.

"In 1961 a meeting was sponsored by FAO Rome to discuss the

international aspects of plant introduction and germplasm preser­ vation.

Subsequent meetings have been convened to discuss the

same general subjects, and with much emphasis placed upon the

needs of developing countries.

Unfortunately, during the 10­

year period, from 1961 to 1971, little progress has been made despite

the niumerous meetings held and discussions, which emphasize the

international importance of the subject.

"Since the late 1800's up to the present day, the U. S. Department

of Agriculture, through its office of Plant Introduction Investigations

has been responsible for the introduction, cataloguing, and distri­ bution of germplasm required for agricultural research programs in

the country.

It has developed into a somewhat sophisticated organi­

zation, and deals with practically all other countries in the

exchange of plant materials of mutual interest.

This program is of

utmost importance to many countries, but there are problems which

must be recognized if those countries expect to reap the utmost

benefit from introduced materials.


We have endeavored to emphasize

through FAO meetings, official and personal contacts with visitors

from abroad, and through numerous other channels, the importance of

a central or regional 4Plant Introduction' organization.

"The first consideration which must be determined by the country concerned is whether the agricultural economy is of sufficient

importance whereby introduced germplasm would be economically


This may best be determined through conferences and con­

sultation among the economic crop groups, not only to determine how much improvement is

needed in diverse crops,

but how much diversifi­

cation should be aimed at profitable agricultural exports. decision shows such a need, "l.



then the following factors must be considered:

There must be stability and continuity of policy within

the Ministry or Department of Agriculture. "2. Cooperation must be obtained from all agricultural sectors

including research, extension, marketing, "3.


An educational program should be undertaken to alert the

agricultural section of the advantages to be derived from a central Plant Introduction organization. "4. Attention should be given to the control of insects, diseases, and other pests attacking plants, in order to protect local enterprises.

"5. A Quarartine Service should be established, staffed with

trained and competent personnel who will contribute fully to the Plant Introduction agency.



records, data on distribution,

and a report(s)

on progress made in propagating the incoming materials, filed and made available in a central location.


should be

"Plant Introduction Investigations of the U.S. Department of

Agriculture has maintained records since 1950 of plant materials

distributed abroad.

In many countries this amounts to several hundred

varieties and/or species, which usually are sent directly to the

requesting agency.

Similar central Plant Introduction offices have

also been establishcd in Australia, India, Israel and in the Soviet


Attempts are now being made to establish a national program

in Japan and Canada.

As other countries diversify their crop pattern,

the many advantages of establishing a Plant Introduction Division or

Section, functioning through a central office, will soon become


It is admitted that one of the difficulties in organizing

a central Plant Introduction scheme may on occasion involve a

language barrier.

This problem, however, can be resolved with the

careful selection of the local individual appointed to head such an

organization, who should have had college or university training in

agricultural disciplines, preferably in the United States or Australia,

followed by training in the mechanics of plant introduction under the

guidqnce and technical supervision of an experienced and competent

leader in this field, such as a staff member of the U. B. Department

of Agriculture."


Table 24 Germplasm sent to Thailand By U. S. Department of Agriculture


During the period from May 1950 to December 1972 Crop

Botanical Name

Number of Shipments

Number of Species, varieties or

Beverage crops: Coffee

Coffea spp.




Saccharum officinarum




Medicago sp.




Paspalum notatum




Cynodon dactylon



Bermudagrass, Coastal

Cynondon dactylon,'Coastal'



E-rmudagrass, Transvaal

Cynodon transvaalensis



Birdsfoot trefoil

Lotus corniculatus




Sorghum valgare, var.technicum




Trifolium sp.



Clover, sweet

Melilotus indica



Clover, yellow sweet

Melilotus indica



Clover, Hubam

Melilotus annua



Crown vetch

Coronilla varia



Greenleaf desmodium

Desmodium intortum



Forage crops:


Furnished or procured by Plant Introduction Investigations.


Table 24 (cont'd)


Botanical Name

Number of Shipments


Lespedeza striata




Sorghum halapense




Digitaria decumbens







Number of Species Varieties or Samoles


Chloris Rayana



St. Augustine grass

Stenotaphrum secundatum




Zoisia sp



Grass seeds

(various genera)



Grass stolons

(various genera)



Hordeum vulsare


Corn, maize

Zea may



rains or Cereals:


" i






" popcorn





" sweet





" yellow dent






Paniium miliaceum




Avena sativa




Oryza sativa




Sorghum bicolor







, Triticale




Triticum x Secale


Table 24 (cont'd)


Botanical Name

Number of Shipments

Number of Species Varieties or


Fiber crops: Kenaf

Hibiscus cannabinus



Potato, sweet

Ipomoea batatas



Potato, white

Solaium tuberosum




Nicotina tabacum




Persea americana




Prunus persica



Date palm

Phoenix dactylifera




Prunus persica




Pistacio atlantica







Tuber Crops

Fruit trees:




Prunes Small fruits: Blueberry

Vaccinium sp




Vitt vinifera




Fraartia vesca


Citranje, Trayer

Citrus sp.


Lemon, sweet

Citrus limon



Mandarin, Cleopatra

Citrus reticulata




Prunus persica var. netartina





Table 24 (cont'd)


Botanical Name

Number of Shipments

Number of Species Varieties of

Sanpled Vegetables: Beans

Phaseolus app.




Cucumis melo




Daucus carota var. sativa




Brassica ileracea



Chinese chestnut

Castanea mollisima




Vigna sinensis








Solanum melongena var. esculentum




Brassica oleracea var. aceihala




Brassica oleracea var. gogyloides




Lactaca sativa




Phaseolus aureus




Brassica iuncea




Allium ce




Hibiscus esculentus




Petroselinum crisoum




Pisum sativum




Cucumia iaxima










Table 2' (contrd)

Botanical Name


Number of Shipments

Number of Species ...... Varieties or •s#ihiles






Cucurbita pevo




LycoperSicon esculentum




Citrullus vulgaris




(Various genera)




Mentha piperita




Rosmarinus officinalis




Mentha spicata



Essential Oil Plants:

Seeds for protein or oil:


Ricinus communis




Glossuium 22.



Kinkaoil, ironweed

Vernonia anthelmintica


Peanut (earthnut)

Arachis indicum


Carthamus tinctorius




Sessmum indicum




GIycine max


Helianthus annuus




Crotalaria luncea



Capaicum frateacens, var.


1 11







Bell pepper



Capsicum .i



Piper niRrum



Table 24 (cont'd)


Botanical Name

Number of Shipments.

Number of Species

Varieties or


Tree crops.:

Loblolly pine

Pinus taeda



Short-leaved pine

Pinus edhinata




Acer sacchatum



Tulip tree

Liriodendron tulipfera




Cyamopsis tetraionoloba




IndiRofera sp



Mandeville& splenddns



Tagetes minuta









REVIEW OF MAJOR CROP PRODUCTION The 1970 rice crop was estimated at 13.4 million M.T. of paddy,

or 8.9 million tons milled.

Of this, 7.55 million M.T. were consumed

within the country, leaving a surplus of 1.25 million t..T. for export. Area planted to rice in 1971/72 was placed at 7.62 million hectares.

Official estimated output for that period was placed at 13.57 million

M.T. paddy, slightly higher than 13.27 million M.T. for 1970/71.

Meanwhile, planted area was estimated at 7.62 million hectares, slightly

lower than that of 1970/71.

Official estimate of the area planted to

rice in 1972/73 was 41.25 million rai (16.5 million acres), or 74Z of

total rice acreage of 56.25 million rai (22.5 million acres). estimate for 1972/3 is 12


million tons of paddy, 10-20Z lower than

previous season's 13.5 million tons of paddy.

During the first 9

months of CY 1972, Thailand shipped 1,604,825 M.T. of rice to overseas


This was 534,710 M.T. larger than in the same period in CY


In the face of a growing population avd declining exports, rice

available for domestic consumption in Thailand has increased more

rapidly than the population, and increasing use is being made of it as hog and poultry feed, and in the manufacture of alcohol.


traditional markets, such as the Philippines and Malaysia, are increasing their domestic supplies and are becoming less dependent on external

sources of this comnodity.


Production of corn in 1969 was about 1.7 million M.T., with

exports in 1969 of 1.4 million M.T., and in 1970 increased to 1.9

million M.T.

Domestic consumption has grown substantially in

recent years.

Much of this increase has been absorbed by feed mills.

In fact, the domestic price of corn has been rising and in 1969 sur­ passed the export price.

Corn planted area and output in 1972 were

estimated to be 20% above 1971.

The total output was expected to

be 2.4 million M.T. Thailand shipped 1,842,370 M.T. of corn (preliminary estimate) to oversea markets in CY 1971 against 1,391,474 M.T. in 1970.

The volume of shipments and value of foreign exchange

increased 34 and 22% respectively over the total for 1971.

In 1969/70, Thailand produced 417,425 M.T. of sugar and was ex­ pected to produce over 500,000 tons in 1970/71.

The 1971/72 sugar

crop was estimated to be 600,000 M.T., of about 50,000 M.T. less than


Of this 240,000 tons would be in the form of raw sugar,

and the remainder--360,000 M.T.-was plantation white sugar.


consumption during these years was estimated to be 350,000 to 400,000

tons annually.

During the past 5 yearo production of cassava has averaged 2.2

million M.T. annually. consumption.

Roots are ground into flour for domestic

For export upward of 75 percent of output is

generally shipped in the form of pellets or as meal for hog feed. Unofficial estimate of grain sorghum production in 1970 was

placed at 70,000 M.T., compared with 60,000 tons in 1969. increase reflected growing domestic market requirements.

The appreciable


uses of the commodity in recent years have increased as the result


of extension activities of the Livestock Development Department.

Sorghum production in 1971 recovered after setbac.- during several


Revised estimated output was placed at 135,000 K% against

the previous estimate of 85,000 tons.

Increase in output was due mainly

to favorable prices received by the farmers during 1970/71 season.

Preliminary estimates of sorghum export during CY 1971 totaled 131,483

KT.,about 65% over 1970.

Output of peanuts in 1969/70 was estimated at 200,000 M.T.

sufficient for domestic needs.

Production in 1971/72 was unofficially

placed at 230,000 MT.,and the area planted also increased to 750,000


In 1969/70 production of castorbean was placed at 40,000 tons.

During 1971/72 area planted to this crop increased appreciably, and was

placed at 270,000 'ai. Production did not exceed 45,000 M.T2. Because

of increased domestic requirement, only 5,300 liters of castor oil were

exported during CY 1971, against 11,998 liters shipped in CY 1970.

Meanwhile, import of castor oil decreased appreciably from 140,883

liters in CY 1970 to 85,562 liters in CY 1971. supplier, with 80% of total imports.

Japan was the largest

Castorbean export

increased from

35,679)LT.in CY 1970 to 47,072KT.in CY 1971. Exports to Japan

accounted for 46,200M.T.,r 98% of total.

In 1970, production of mung beans (Phaseolus aureus) and matpe

(P. aconitifolius), harvested during August to September and again in

the off-season in February and March, was estimated at 160,000 m. tons, of which 92,300 tons were consumed domestically, and 65,000 tons were exported. 316

Kenaf (HibiSCus) altiggima),

output, mainly roselle (.



and produced mostly in the Northeast, increased substan­

tially from a 268.2 thousand M.T. in 1968 to 373.4 thousand 1969, and 380,000 tons in 1970. was placed at 370,000 M.T. at 430,000 M.T.

.T. in

Revised estimated output for 1971

Early estimates of 1972/73 crop were placed

Domestic consumption was expected to be high, as

exports of agricultural commodities shipped in gunny bags were high

during 1971.

Exports of kenaf

(excluding kenaf cuttings, tow and

waste) in CY 1971 were 230,092 M.T., compared with 222,014 M.T. shipped

in CY 1970.

The gain was attributed to increased imports of Thai kenaf

by such European countries as Belgium, West Germany, Italy, France,

Portugal and Poland.

Para rubber (Hevea)iproduction has been increasing steadily until

recent years.

In 1969 output amounted to about 288,000 M.T., of which

local industries consumed only 5 percent.

However, the importance of

rubber is declining, because of lowering prices in world trade and

competition from synthetic rubber. Soybeans (Glycine max).

Production has remained fairly stable

during the past 10 years, ranging between 19,000 and 30,000 m. M.T. annually.

In recent years there has been an increasing demand in the

domestic market for the oil.

During January to November 1969, almost

1.5 million liters of this oil were imported. of soybean production for 1971/72 was

Unofficial estimates

34,000 M.T. Area planted in

1971/72 was estimated to be 190,000 rai, and a total of 6,003 M.T. were exported during CY 1971, compared with 6,290 M.T. shipped in CY 1970.


Malaysia and Singapore were the principal buyers.


imports of soybean oil increased from 141,905 liters in

CY 1970 to 157,631 liters in CY 1971. were Netherlands and Denmark.

Major suppliers

In all likelihood the

cultivation of this crop will expand in Thailand.


high oil-yielding varieties should be introduced. Sesame (Sesamum inddicnm

During CY 1971, Thailand

exported 8,998 M.T. of sesame seed compared to 5,422 M.T. in CY 1970.

Japan was the principal customer.

Tmports of sesame oil

were increased from 21,595 liters in CY 1970 to 22,054 liters

in CY 1971.

Principal suppliers were:

Hong Kong, Japan

and Denmark.

Tobacco (Niootianum tabaoum).

Preliminary estimate of

production in 1971/72 was placed at 21,619 M.T. of flue-cured

tobacco, comprising 9,619 M.T. under the control of the

Thailand Tobacco Monopoly (TTM), and the remaining 12,000

M.T. produced by farmers not

under the control of TTM.


was an increase of about 1,000 M.T. when compared to the

20,616 M.T. produced in 1970/71.

The estimated area in

production in 1971/72 was 323,525 rai (129,410 acres), of

which TTH controlled 113,575 rai (49,410 acres), and 200,000 rai (80,000 acres) by private farmers not under the control of TTh.

Preliminary estimate of 1972/73 burley

tobacco production was placed by TTM at 850 M,T.) from an area of 5,700 rai (2,280 acres).

Other production could reach 2,500


M. T. from 25,000 ral (10,000 acres), bringing the total 1972/73 production to 3,350 M.T. from 30,700 rai (12,280 acres).


compares with 2,901 M.T. from an area of 25,700 rai (10,280 ,cres) in 1971/72, and 718 M.T. from 4,805 rai (1,922 acres).

The 1971/72 output of Turkish tobacco was 278 M.T. from 1,713 rai (685 acres). rai (1,000 acres).

The estimate for 1972/73 was 300 M.T. from 2,500 Unofficial estimate for native sun-dried tobacco

during the 1971/72 season was 22,000 M.T. from 230,000 rai (9.2,000 acres),

as compared with 21,000 M.T. from 220,000 rai (88,000 acres

in 1970/71.

Low output or potential crops of which new Aetmplasm is desirable:

Cotton is both produced and imported by Thailand.

In 1969,

cotton production fell sharply to 12,000 m. tons (55,000 bales), because of drought and insect infestation.

Aria planted duriog 1971/72 season

was unofficially estimated at 190,000 rai.

In 1971, a total of 18,567 M.T,.

of cottonseed were exported, compared with 23,720 M.T. in CY 1970, a decrease of 22%.

In 1971/72 (August-July)cotton production was placed

at 96,432 M.T., or 80% above that of the previous season. Area planted was 506,825 rai (202,730 acres) an increase of 57% over 292,118 rai (116,837 acres) in 1970/71.

With improved knowledge available

to farmers of land appropriate for cotton growing, and better technical information

n pest control, cotton yields are increasing. Av­

erage yields in 1971/72 stepped up to 511 kg/rai from 198 kg/rad in 1970/71.

During 1971/72 cotton imports showed a decline to 44,402

M.T. from 46,072 H.T. in 1970/71.


Imports from the United States

dropped from 28,140 mt in 1970/71 to 20,448 mt in 1971/72.

Tea (Camellia ainensis).

Mixed stands of this tree grow semi­

spontaneously and are fairly abundant in upland areas, especially north

of Chiang Mai, and farther east around Phrae.

The hill tribes have

long been accustomed to the culture of this crop.

New germplasm

should be introduced from Darjeeling in India, areas in Bangladesh,

plantations in Sti Langka (Ceylon), or from plantations established

in the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil..

Coconuts (Cocos nucifera).

Estimated production of 200,000 m. tons

of copra, is considered low. Many trees are old, unproductive and should

be replaced by new plantings to increase production of oil and copra.

Also, it is imperative to introduce new varieties resistant to bud rot

(Phytophthdra palmivora).

Pepper (Piper nigrum).

The small plantings at Trang, in the

Peninsula, and in the Province of Chanthaburi, on the Southeast Coast,

should be expanded by introducing new germplasm from Malaysia, Indonesia

and India. Cardamon (Elettaria cordamomum).

This perennial herb grows spon­

taneously in Thai forests, but as far as is known, no plantations have been established. Its highly aromatic seeds furnish an essential oil.

The moist forest in the southern-Peninsula, and in the Province of

Chanthaburi on the Southeast Coast, should be favorable for the planting of this crop.

Root Crops.

About 20 species of Yams (Dioscorea) are widely

scattered in Thailand.

It would be advisable to assemble germplasm of

indigenous edible species, as well as of sweet potato (IiOfoea batAtas),


taro (ColodeAia attidurum),

and tania (Udthosoma saittifolium).

These should be grown more extensively in market gardens around populated centers,

and particularly in upland areas in

the north,


ited by hill tribes. Some species should aio be adaptable to selected sites in the Northeast. Para rubber (Hevea brasiliensis).

Germplasm of high yielding

clones should be obtained from the Rubber Research Station in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,

as replacement for old plantings in the southern

Peninsula, and in the Province of Chanthaburi. Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis).

This palm should grow well in

the southern Peninsular provinces of Satun, Narathiwat and Yala, and

on the mainland in the Province of Chanthaburi, where annual rain­ fall-exceeds 80 inches, with a climatic pattern of two well defined


New germplasm should be obtained from the Research Station

at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where high yielding varieties of this

palm have been developed in recent years; also, possibly from the

IRHO Station at Pobe, Dahomey, and Ibadan, Nigeria, in West Africa.

Coffee (Coffee arabica and other species).

Climatic conditions in

the uplands of northern and southern Thailand should be.suitable for

this crop. Cacao (Theobroma cicao). The best variety to propagate would be

the Amazonian "forastero."

This crop should be adaptable to the

lowlands with high reinfall in the southwestern Peninsula.


With the exception of sorghum, cereal grains are

almost nonexistent in Thailand.

In India, about 15 years ago,


the total acreage of grains exceeded rice almost two to one.

The total

rainfall and rainfall regime of Thailand and India are similar.


CY 1967, Thailand imported cereals to the value of US $6.3 millions. In 1969 imports of wheat alone amounted to 48,475 m. tons, compared with 40,426 tons in 1968, or an increase of 20 percent.

During the

same year small shipments of oats, barley and rye were imported, as well as 5,800 m. tons of malt.

Field trials with wheat strains and

other cereals should be conducted in the valley bottom in Northern and Northwestern Thailand.

Also, the hill tribes should be provided with

varieties of sweet corn, sorghum and millet.

This should encourage

them to adopt a more permanent method of cultivation in place of opium poppy they have so long produced on the widely destructive slash-and-burn (swidden) system.

Thailand is

developing into a wheat consumer.

in CY 1971 decreased 30% compared to CY 1970.

Wheat import

Total import was

registered at 44,065 M.T. against 65,011 M.T. in CY 1970. Wheat flour

(in grain equivalent) imported in CY 1971 was 17,438 M.T. against

15,438 M.T. imported in 1970.

Imports of. other cereals-oats, rye

and malts-decreased in 1971, but barley increased slightly.

Cashew (Anacardium dccidentale).

This low tree is adaptable to

a wide variety of soils and should flourish in Thailand, especially in sections of the Northeast. peanuts, or yams.

It may be interplanted with cotton,

When the latter have been harvested, cashcw trees

remain as a permanent crop.


provides a substantially increasing

revenue each year from the third year after Olanting until the tree is

about 25 years old.

Sources of germplasm include India, Brazil,

Dahomey, Mozambique, and Tanzania.



There are a number of commercial spices that could be.grown

in Thailand.

These include:

Clove (Eugenia arVophVllata).

Crows best near the sea, as the

warm, moist sea breezes favor growth of the tree and ample development

of the flowers.

The southwestern slopes of the lower Peninsula, and

the island of Phuket are considered suitable.

Germplasm may be obtained

in Ceylon.

Cinnamon, Ceylon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum). Several varieties of this

tree occur in Ceylon, some growing wild, others are cultivated.


best quality spice is furnished by trees growing in sandy soil near

the seashore.

The southwestern section of the Thai peninsula and

the island of Phuket should be favorable.

Source of germplasm is


Cassia (Cinnamomm cassia).

This free grows on hill slopes in

the Proviace of Kwangsi and Kwantung in southeastern China.


germplasm is obtainable, it should be propagated in the northern

provinces, such as Phrae.

Nutmeg (Myristica frag)rns . This tree requires a hot, moist

climate, and a deep, loamy soil. It thrives near the sea in sheltered

valleys and under partial shade.

It should be suitable for the

southern Peninsula.

Forage Plants:

The potentialities of the Northeast, especially

the vast acreage available, for the development of the cattle

industry are emphasized.

Indicative of this growing industry is the

export quota-established by the Thai Livestock Export Control


According to the Thai Department of Foreign Trade, live


cattle for export ( both cattle and water buffalo) are authozized

to three destinations. annually are:

Destination and numbers to be shipped

(a) Through port of Bangkok to Hong Kong--18,016

heads; (b) through Kantang or Pattani--11,712 heads; and (c) through

Padang Besaw to Singapore--3,864; a total of 33,592 heads.

There is a need to establish in a central location, such as Khon Khaen, a germplasm bank of grasses and pulse crops, both of native and introduced species, to determine their adaptability to inferior soils and lengthy dry periods that generally prevail in that region. To my knowledge, no such screening has been made in Thailand. In less developed countries grasses are generally the most

Grasses that should be con­

important, but most neglected resource.

Pangola grass (Digitaria decumbens); Bermuda grass

sidered include:

(QModon dactylon) ; Elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum); Buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris ; Rhodes grass (Chldris gavana); Greenleaf desmodium (Desmodium intortum); and species of Eragrostis. occur in tropical regions in rainfall regime is Thailand.


the Hemisphere and elsewhere where

somewhat similar to sections of Northeastern

Other grasses recommended !nclude Limpugro


altissima) from Central Africa and species of 'Rynehiaria from


and South Africa; dallisis (Paspalum dilatatum) from Northern South

America, and species of Eriodhloa.

One of the most useful legumes is mat or matpe bean (Phaaelus aconitifolius), already grown as a commercial crop in Thailand.

This drought resistant plant yields a palatable and nutritious pas­ turage and hay.

In southern India, it



considered to be the most

suitable green manure to precede cotton in the rotation.

It survives

with little moisture, but is not damaged by excessive irrigation;

and is useful in mixture with other legumes, such as lablab (Ddlichos


and pigeon pea (Calanus c


The latter is particularly

drought resistant, even yielding satisfactorily where annual rainfall

falls below 600 mm and when other crops fail.

Dolichos lablab is

grown for its edible seeds, as well as for hay, silage, and green


Chick pea (Cicer arietinum) is grown as a dry season crop.

Dolichos uniflorus thrives on poor soils, and is of value for soil

erosion control and as green manure.

Another useful legume is Leucaena leucocephala, known in the

Philippines as"ipil-ipil." It serves as a browse, for silage and soilage. livestock.

The seeds are ground as a mixed feed for poultry, pigs and

It thrives in areas with inferior calcareous soil,

subject to drought.

A South African plant which may be suitable to

the Northeast is Portulacaria afra, known locally as "spekboom."

This somewhat succulent shrub, up to 1 m tall, is difficult to

propagate from seed, but can be grown from cuttings.

It is used

for browse, particularly in dry areas.

Other edible pulse crops considered adaptable to Northern and

Northeastern Thailand include:

hyacinth bean (Dolichos lablab),

moderately resistant to drought; lentil (Lens esculentus), also

resistant to drought and high temperatures; mung bean (Phaseolus

aureus), a commercial crop in Thailand, the green pods of which are

eaten and the dry seeds pounded into flour in India; cowpea (Vigna


of which there are many varieties,

is rfesistant to

drought, high temperatures, insect pests, and the Vods are eaten.

as a vegetable in India and China.

Sources of Essential Oils:

Citronella (Cymbopoon nardus).. This tall plant is cultivated

commercially in Malaysia, Indonesia, Formosa, Guatemala, and East


Two types are recognized - Java, producing an oil with high

percentage of citronella and geraniol; and Ceylon type, a hardier

variety that may be grown on-poorer soil.

Both types of oil are

used extensively in the soap industry, and as source of geraniol and


Sources of germplaum are Malaysia and Indonesia.

West Indian Lemon Grass (Cynbopogon eitratus).

Widely cultivated

in Asia, the main constituent of lemon grass oil is citral, used in

perfume, soap and pharmaceutical industries.

Sources of germplasm

are Malaysia, Burma, Ceylon, and Guatemala.

Vetiver ( Vetiveria zizanioides).This grass grows spontaneously in many parts of India, usually in rich river-bank soils in a fairly hot, damp environment. sively in perfumery,

Oil, distilled from the roots,is used exten­

and in the preparation of cosmetics.

These plants may be grown in the upper section of the Peninsula,

on the Southeast Coast, and other selected areas in Thailand.

Savory Herbs: Some of these plants are considered in some temperate and tropical countries to be essential in the preparation of foods both in the home and in public eating places.

Species suggested for propagation in Thailand, especially in the

Chiang Mai Province and other parts in

the North, include:

anise (Pimoinella aniouml; chervil (Arntliriscua eelef6lium), native to southern Asia, and its tuberous-rooted varieties are

grown and eaten as a vegetable; coriander (Coriandrum sativum); cumin (Cuminum cyminum); caraway (Carum carvi); fennel (Foen­ iculum vulgare); sweet fennel (Foeniculum vulgare var. d


the tender young shoots and leaves used to garnish foods; sage (Salvia officinalis); and tarragon (Artemisia dracuneulus). American Pines.

As sources of building materials and for

the manufacture of paper pulp, it is recommended that germplasm of 3 species of fast-growing American pines should be introduced, namely:

Southern (Pinus palustria), selected varieties of

Slash (P. caribaea), and Loblolly pine (P. taeda .

These would

be propagated in the northern provinces, especially in the

region of Chiang Mai and on the Loei plateau, where two native species - P. merkhusii

and P.khaysa

- occur.

One or two of the

introduced species could also be grown in the central section

of the Peninsula.




who contributed suggestions on Improvement of Thai crops:

Adair, C. R. Agronomist, Applied Plant Genetics Lab., Plant Genetics

and Germplasm Inst., ARS, USDA, Beltsville, Md. 20705

Claassen, Carl E. President, Pacific Oilseeds, Inc., Woodland, Calif­ ornia 95695 (Safflower).

Coleman, R. E. Staff Scientist, Sugar Crops, National Program Staff,

ARS, USDA, Beltsville, Md. 20705 (Sugarcane).

Chomchalow, Narong Acting Research Director, Agricultural Products

Research Inst., Applied Scientific Research Corp. of Thailand (Jute),

Dickerman, A. B.

Associate Deputy Chief, Forest Service, USDA, 14th

and Independence Ave., Washington, D. C. 20250 (Forest Research in

Thailand and Taiwan).

Domingo, W. E. Director, Oilseeds Production Division, The Baker

Castor Oil Company, La Mesa, California 92041 (Castorbean).

Gaskins, Murray H. Plant Physiologist, ARS, USDA, University of

Florida, Dept. of Agronomy, Gainesville, Florida 32601 (Beans and


Glaze, Norman F.

Plant Physiologist, Georgia Coastal Plain Experiment

Station, Southeastern Region, USDA, Tifton, Georgia 31794 (Vegetables).

Hart, Richard H. Agronomist, Light and Plant Growth Lab., Plant

Physiology Inst., ARS, USDA, Beltsville, Md. 20705.

Hyland, Howard L. Plant Introduction Specialist, Germplasm Resources

Lab., Plant-Genetics and Germplasm Institute, ARS, USDA, Beltsville,

Md. 20705 (Plant Introduction and Exchange).

Imle, Ernest P. Assistant Director, International Programs Division,

ARS, USDA, Federal Center Building, Hyattsville, Md. 20782 (Cacao).

Lasheen, Aly N.

Horticulturist, University of Kentucky Horticultural

Advisor, Northeast Agricultural Centex, Tha Phra, Khon Kaen,

Thailand (Vegetable industry in Thailand).

Leese, Bernard, M. Chief Examiner, Plant Variety Protecrtion Office,

Agricultural }Narketing Service, USDA, Federal Center Building,

Hyatteville, 'Ad.20782 (Sources of Sorghum Germplasm in Ethiopia).

Lewis, Charles F. Staff Specialist, Genetics and Plant Breeding,

National Program Staff, ARS, USDA, Beltsville, Md. 20705 (Cotton).


Manis, Wallace E. Officer-in-charge, U. S. Plant Introduction Station,

Southeastern Region, ARS, USDA, Miami, Florida 33158 (Rubber).

Martin, Frank W. Plant Geneticist, Federal Experiment Station,

Mayaguez, Puerto Rico 00708 (Cassava).

Meiners, J. P. Plant Pathologist, Applied Plant Pathology Lab., Plant

Protection Inst,,ARSUSDA, Beltsville, Md. 20705 (Pulse Crops).

Meyer, Frederick G. Research Botanist, U. S. National Arboretm, North

Eastern Region, ARS, USDA, Washington, D. C,, 20002 (Coffee)

Nanthachai, Prapan, Horticulturist, Northeast Agricultural Center (NEAC), Tha Phra, Khon Kaen, Thailand ('egetables). Oakes, A. J. Agronomist, Germplasm Resources Lab., Plant Genetics and Germplasm Inst., ARS, USDA, Beltsville, Md. 20705 (Forage Crops). Ostrom, Carl E. Director, Timber Management Research, Forest Service,

USDA, Fourteenth and Independence Ave., Washington, D. C. 20250

(Forest Research in Thailand).

Schubert, Thomas H. Staff Assistant, Timber Management Resear' Forest Service, Washington, D. C. 20250 (Forest Germplasm).

U. S.

Scott, D. H. Horticulturist, Fruit Lab, Plant Genetics and Germplasm

Inst., ARS, USDA, Beltsville, Md. 20705 (Berry crops).

Soderholm, P. K. Horticulturist, U. S. Plant Introduction Station,

Southeastern Region, ARS, USDA, Miami, Florida 33158 (Coffee).

Sprague, George F. (Ret'd) Agronomist, Applied Plant Genetics Lab.,

Plant Genetics and Germplasm Inst., ARS, USDA, Beltsville, Md. 20705

White, George A. Agronomist, Germplasm Resources Lab., Plant Genetics

and Germplam Inst., ARS, USDA, Beltsville, Md. 20705 (Roselle fiber).

Winters, Harold F. Horticulturist, Germplasm Resources Lab., Plant

Genetics and Germplasm Inst., ARS, USDA, Beltsville, Md. 20705

(Vegetable crops).

Zobel, Bruce Professor of Forest Genetics, School of Forest Resources,

North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27607


Zwet, T. van der Plant Pathologist, Fruit Lab., Plant Genetics and

Germplasm Inst., ARS, USDA, Beltsville, Md. 20705 (Pome fruits).



Aminuddin, M.


Dec. 5, 1971. Anon.


Goodbye to the Betel-nut?

Asia Magazine.


List of Important Commercial Varieties of Crops

Available for International Exchange.

296 pp.


Cooperation Administration, Washington, D. C.


Agricultural Policies of Foreign Governments:

Including Trade Policies Affecting Agriculture. Handbook No. 132.

266 pp.


Econ. Res. Service, U.S. Dept.

of Agriculture.



Mainstay and Hope for 1.1 Billion People.

For. Agriculture. Vol. IV.

No. 43, pp. 6-7, illustr.

U. S.

Dept. of Agriculture.


World's Rice Trade's Changing Picture. For. Agric.

Vol. VII, No. 4, pp. 2-4. 1970.

U. S. Dept. of Agriculture.

Indices of Agricultural Production for East Asia,

South Asia, and Oceania - 1960-1969.

19 pp.

Far East

Branch, Vor. Regional Analysis Division, E.R.S., U. S. Dept.

of Agriculture.


Japanese Efforts to Diversify Sources of Agricultural


E.R.S.-Foreign 297.

23 pp.

Econ. Res. Service,

U. S. Department of Agriculture.


Malaysian Plan to Upgrade Coconuts Near Completion.

For. Agric. Vol. VII,, No. 13. 1971.

Oil Palm in Thailand.

923-924, illustr.

pp. 6. U. S. Dept. of Agriculture.




Vol. 3, No. 11, pp.

Triennial Report.



63 pp.


Scientific Research Corporation of Thailand (ASRCT).


Cotton) from Experiment Stations. pp.




The Empire Cotton Growing Corp., London.

Progress Reports from Experiment Stations.


Progress Reports from Experiment Stations.

1966. Thailand.

Progress Reports from Experiment Stations. 19 pp.



The Empire Cotton Growing Corp., London.

16 pp.



The Empire Cotton Growing Corp., London.

18 pp.



Progress Reports (on


Anthony, K. R. M., and A. J. Jones.


Cotton Research Corp., London.

Ecosystem Study of Tropical Dry-Evergreen Forest.


Research Project No. 27/1.

20 pp.


Tropical Environmental Data.

1969. No. 3.

41 pp.

Atthakor, Bunchana.

Bangkok. 1965.

1 map.



Semi-Annual Report



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17 pp.


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Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University.

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