Global Agriculture

Director-General visits Thailand’s Fisheries Monitoring Center and Talaad Thai wholesale food market

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11 January 2024, Bangkok: FAO Director-General QU Dongyu today visited Thailand’s Fisheries Monitoring Center (FMC) and the Talaad Thai wholesale food market, the biggest in Southeast Asia, as he wrapped up a three-day trip to Thailand.

In response to welcoming remarks by Mr Bancha Sukkaew, Deputy Director of the Department of Fisheries of Thailand, QU paid tribute to Thailand’s achievements in regulating its fisheries in recent years, and also emphasized the crucial role of aquaculture in meeting the region’s food needs. He said he looked forward to further close cooperation with the Department, which is responsible for the Fisheries Monitoring Center.

The FMC, set up in 2017, establishes connections with all fishing vessels in the country’s waters via the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) that is used to monitor the vessels’ activities, including areas of fishing, use of legitimate fishing gear, catch transshipment at sea, and labour treatment on board. The information gathered is then transferred to 30 Port-in Port-out Centers (PIPO) for inspection reference.

FAO plays a crucial role in coordinating international efforts to combat Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, and in supporting and promoting international plans and agreements to address IUU fishing, such as the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA), a key instrument to prevent, deter, and eliminate IUU fishing.

FAO has provided legal advice to Thailand’s Department of Fisheries during the revision of their fishery law, as well as by providing technical assistance on key issues for the sustainability of fisheries resources – this includes training and capacity building on issues related to port state measures, transshipment, the global fisheries support measures, stock assessment, and other relevant topics for the sustainable management of fisheries resources.

Wholesale food market

Earlier, the FAO Director-General visited the Talaad Thai wholesale food market outside Bangkok, which is the biggest in Southeast Asia, where he was welcomed by the owner Pradit Phataraprasit, who is also President of the Thai Agricultural Wholesale Market Association.

QU underlined the important role that the market – a hub for distribution of fruit and vegetables not only for Thailand, but also neighbouring countries especially Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam – plays in transforming the region’s agrifood systems. “Others only talk, but you are doing things,” he said.

The FAO Director-General toured the areas of the market devoted to export and import of fruit and vegetables and observed the functioning of produce certification and the use of QR codes for traceability, as well as visiting the quality testing lab for fruit and vegetables.

The Talaad Thai market covers a total area of more than 200 acres (87 hectares), with more than 100,000 buyers and sellers per day, daily volumes of 12,000 tons and a daily turnover of 500 million Baht (USD14 million). It has its own container yard, banks and cold chain facilities.

FAO has pointed to the critical functions of such markets in providing export opportunities for local farmers to improve livelihoods, with women engaged in many activities of the value chain. They can also help minimize food losses through appropriate handling of produce, but among the challenges they face are efficient waste management and the use of plastics for packing.

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(For Latest Agriculture News & Updates, follow Krishak Jagat on Google News)

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