A FARMER in Chumphon province is devastated at discovering that most of his durian trees have been poisoned and are starting to die with long-term loss reaching 30 million baht, Sanook.com said today (May 4).
Mr. Charin Phuachai, 51, who lives with family at Hat Phan Krai subdistrict, Mueang Chumphon district, said he had 25 Mon Thong durian trees in his orchard and all of them are around six to seven years old. However an attack by unknown men led to 20 of them now dying.
A reporter visited his orchard and saw that these trees had cuts in the truck which had turned black. Leaves had fallen leaving bare branches while the fruit piled up under the trees.
Charin related that two days ago his son spotted a snake in the orchard so he used a bamboo rake to clear that spot and in doing so saw the black cut on the tree with this not being a fungus.
He was certain the tree had been poisoned with an absorbent type of stump killing herbicide. Upon getting water after this herbicide is pasted into a cut, the durian tree will die.
Upon inspection he found that 20 of 25 trees laden with durian had been poisoned.
He was going to harvest the durian in a month’s time and sell them at 160-180 baht a kilogramme. He had estimated to get an income of 600,000 baht this year with each tree bringing approximately 20,000 baht.
With the lifespan of a durian tree being 50 years, the 20 dying trees would have generated 30 million baht over the decades.
He added that no one in his family had a conflict with anyone. He and his wife had come to Chumphon from another province around eight to ten years ago and had built good relations with the others in the village thus could not understand why this attack took place.
He mentioned that it would be good if there was an agency to help revive the trees but even so he was certain the 20 trees would die because they had been badly poisoned.
“All farmers get tired, they invest a lot and it takes time to grow durian trees. It is not easy, in fact quite difficult, with problems all around every month,” he said.
A durian fruit lies beneath a poisoned tree, above, and a cut in the truck where the herbicide was pasted, Front Page. Both photos: Sanook.com