Thailand’s Industry Ministry will propose a new fruit auction market to the cabinet for approval, named the Eastern Fruit Corridor (EFC). The proposal is part of the government’s larger Eastern Economic Corridor scheme.
The scheme involves construction of a 12-billion-baht Smart Park, which will also include areas for logistics, as well as health, transit and tech industries.
The proposed Smart Park and fruit market will be located in Rayong, on the east coast of Thailand’s gulf.
The Nation reported that the proposed park is yet to be officially approved, but Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand governor, Verapong Chaiperm said that the first stages will take shape in the next 18 months.
The EFC is intended to help local growers gain a better price for their goods by avoiding direct bargaining with middle men, improving the overall quality of life for locals.
The Bangkok Post stated that the project has been modelled on a flower market in the Netherlands, and takes a social enterprise structure.
"They want to invest further and construct cold storage facilities for fruits and the city planning for the industrial zone is aimed at strengthening the local fruit supply chain, including processed fruit products," said deputy industry minister, Somchai Harnhirun.
Harnhirun mentioned that the government was keen on promoting value-added fruit products to help raise household income.
Currently, the government is conducting a feasibility study on the project, and is seeking investor interest this year. The park will be partially funded by both the government and private sectors.
Construction is expected to begin in January 2019 to become operational from 2020 onward.