While we were taking breakfast at Marriott Hotel in Clark Pampanga on June 11, 2019, Amom Kulkanchanawan showed us an unbelievable photo in his cellphone of one durian fruit that was auctioned for 1.5 million baht last June 1, 2019 in Bangkok.
This is the Nonthaburi durian variety, according to Amom, is the King of durian. It is such a special fruit that if one would like to buy one, he has to book one year earlier.
Amom is a Thai who is the Managing Director of Chia Tai Malaysia which is in the seed business. He was in the Philippines to attend the launching of Chia Tai Philippines which is a new subsidiary of the oldest seed company in Thailand, the Chia Tai Company Ltd. established in 1921 or 98 years ago. Cha Tai Philippines, based in Tarlac City, is headed by Crisanto Alibuyog, country manager.
Amom said that the starting bid for the Nonthaburi durian was 50,000 baht. It was finally sold at 1.5 million baht to a businessman. The proceeds will be passed back to the farmers and some to charities. In 2018, the auction for the special durian was way below at 800,000 baht.
Nonthaburi City in the province of the same name is the second largest city in Thailand. It used to be part of Bangkok. Mr. Chayapan Limpiwan, vice president of Chia Tai Company Ltd. who was with us at the breakfast table, volunteered that some 40 years ago, Nonthaburi City was a farming community where farmers produced a lot of the best durian fruits which were sweet and creamy. However, today the farms have been replaced by housing subdivisions and commercial buildings.