Thai Govt. Announces Cane & Sugar Industrial Plan 2021, Promoting Fresh Cane Harvest & Boosting Income

Office of Cane and Sugar Board (OSCB) is planning to encourage local cane farmers in Thailand to cut fresh cane instead of burning it. The OSCB is also mobilizing policy to support the farmers’ stable income, expecting no less than 1,000 Baht per a ton of the product. It speculated that 80% fresh cane would be sent for extraction in the current production year of 2020/2021. Doing so will upgrade social and environmental standards of Thailand’s cane and sugar at the same time.

Mr. Ekapat Wangsuwan, the OSCB’s Director General, revealed that, for the current production year, no less than 80% of all fresh cane for extraction would be sent to sugar mills, the equivalent of 67.04 million tons. The amount is less than the previous year when 75 million tons of cane were sent to sugar mills. Besides, the OSCB is still campaigning on increasing prices for fresh cane over burnt one, lending a cane leave combing machine to farmers for free and providing exclusive public aid to farmers who opt for cane cutting only.

Office of Cane and Sugar Board (OSCB) is planning to encourage local cane farmers in Thailand to cut fresh cane instead of burning it. The OSCB is also mobilizing policy to support the farmers’ stable income, expecting no less than 1,000 Baht per a ton of the product. It speculated that 80% fresh cane would be sent for extraction in the current production year of 2020/2021. Doing so will upgrade social and environmental standards of Thailand’s cane and sugar at the same time.

Mr. Ekapat Wangsuwan, the OSCB’s Director General

Mr. Ekapat Wangsuwan, the OSCB’s Director General, revealed that, for the current production year, no less than 80% of all fresh cane for extraction would be sent to sugar mills, the equivalent of 67.04 million tons. The amount is less than the previous year when 75 million tons of cane were sent to sugar mills. Besides, the OSCB is still campaigning on increasing prices for fresh cane over burnt one, lending a cane leave combing machine to farmers for free and providing exclusive public aid to farmers who opt for cane cutting only.

According Mr. Ekapat, in terms of the price of cane for the production year of 2020/2021, local farmers will certainly earn a total of no less than 1,000 Baht. In terms of the OSCB’s policy and work plan this year, it aims to help local farmers to have stable and sufficient income by implementing a guideline to add values to cane as other products and interest sharing as, in accordance with the Cane and Sugar Act of B.E. 2527, cane juice cannot be used to produce anything other than sugar.

“In 2020, there were factories asking for selling syrup as an ingredient to produce ethanol of 175,462 tons, the amount of which can be used to make approximately 34.9 million liters of ethanol. This year, low concentrated syrup of around 500,000 tons is expected to use to make around 100 million liters of ethanol,” said Mr. Ekapat.

Besides, bioproducts, especially bioplastic, biochemistry, biopharmaceutical products/cosmetics and biofuels, are promoted and developed, and encouraged to boost commercial values as well as human resources development of public and private organizations to support bioindustrial development. As a result, a center for bioindustrial promotion is launched in Bang Phra sub-district, Sri Racha district, Cholburi, to connect research with industrial sectors. The center is being constructed under budget of 70.40 million Baht and will be completed in 2022.

The OSCB is planning to boost more income to cane farmers so that they have stable profession. For instance, farmers are encouraged to sell a ton of cane’s leaves and crests to a factory for 800-1,000 Baht so that the factory use them as fuel. When expenses are deducted per a Rai land, around one ton of cane leaves can be sold and farmers will earn 500 Baht more per a Rai land. If 10 tons of cane are planted in a Rai land, farmers will earn 50 Baht more to a price they sell per a ton.

The above-mentioned policy and guideline is a new perspective to upgrade local cane farmers’ life in Thailand as well as socio-environmental factors at the same time because it reduces capital costs, but increase income, thus a long-term professional stability. If local farmers are encouraged to work in a big farm where agricultural machines and cane harvesters are used, they can reduce a lot of product costs, finish cane cutting in time and avoid burning cane farm to harvest the crop.