More than 25,000 Thai farmers who grow garlic in Thailand are demanding to stop importing it from China, whose garlic is considerably cheaper due to lower production costs.
The China-Thailand Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed in June 2003 allowed China to import their garlic to Thailand with 0% tax. Growers in Thailand are concerned about the China-Laos railway network, fearing it does not lead the Thai economy to have a balance of trade deficit. Local officials have also raised concerns that the railway will hurt Thailand’s agricultural economy and the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The garlic community enterprise in Ban Hong, a district of Lamphun Province, in northern Thailand, accelerate the promotion of organic garlic cultivation which meets more demands in the Chinese markets. Local garlic grower, Pathipong Nupalao, complained that the Chinese garlic flooded Thai markets and that will make buyers delay their order. Head of Community enterprises Chana Chaichana said Thai Local growers have to bear the cost in their garlic production process while in China, the garlic plantation and trade are huge as they grow them in an extensive area. A greengrocer urged for stopping importing Chinese garlic since a kilogram of it is priced at about 80 baht, considerably lower than Thai prices which stood at 100 baht.