On July 25, Linda Chevrier met Ms. Orathai Thananchai at the Chumphon Horticultural Research Center (CHRC). She is a Professional Agricultural Technician with over 30 years of experience, specializing in cocoa for the last ten years.
The Chumphon Horticultural Research Center was launched in 1960. Its primary objectives were researching coconuts and Robusta coffee, advising farmers on modern techniques, and supplying young shoots.
From 1974 to 1996, the CHRC led research into cocoa. Low demand for the crop forced it to scale back on research, maintaining a focus on coconuts and coffee until recent years. Thanks to the rising demand for cocoa, there is renewed interest in the crop.
The center has a national collection of plants and seed gardens covering 280 hectares. It employs around 200 people whose research includes clonal propagation, hybridization and studying pests and diseases
Ms. Thananchai showed us their cocoa farm and discussed fermentation and drying processes. She is a great resource and very supportive of our goals and objectives, helping arrange introductions to local cocoa farmers.
The Chumphon Horticultural Research Center (CHRC) is at the address below.
by Tim Morch