BANGKOK, Feb 21 (TNA) - The Department of Agriculture has announced plansto plant one million oil palm trees in Thailand's northeastern Nong Khaiprovince as part of a pilot bio-diesel project.
The department's Director-General, Chakun Saengruksawong, said a millionpremium-grade oil palm saplings will be moved from the country's southernSurat Thani province to the research centre in Nong Khai to supply the rawmaterial for the bio-diesel fuel project.
After the experimental cultivation of 60,000 rai (9,600 hectares) of oilpalm in Nong Khai, the government intends to promote the farming of atleast five million rai to feed the bio-diesel factories.
The most suitable growing areas have been identified as the northeasternprovince of Udon Thani and other provinces along the Mekong River.
The department's research centre in Nong Khai will serve as the regionalhub for oil palm research and development.
Under the department's plans, all the trees will be planted simultaneouslyto make it possible to predict yield and raw material supplies.
Until the oil palm trees mature, farmers will be able to reap benefitsfrom other crops planted alongside the palm, such as chilli, tomato,pineapple, sweet corn, and tobacco. (TNA)