No more monkey business: Thai farmers now have a machine to take them up coconut trees

The Agriculture Department has designed a special machine to help farmers climb coconut trees so they no longer have to rely on monkeys.

The Nation

The Nation



September 5, 2022

BANGKOK – This was in response to a 2020 report from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) accusing Thai coconut farmers of abusing monkeys. Peta has been pushing for a ban on the use of monkeys in the agricultural industry in many countries.

Rapeepat Chansriwong, the department’s director-general, said the climbing machine was created to mitigate the impact Peta’s report has had on Thailand’s coconut exports.

Adding that the machine was safer than the Indian prototype because it includes a belt to ensure the climber’s safety, he said this would bring the industry closer to being automated.

Rapeepat Chansriwong

“The machine weighs 5 kilograms on either side and allows the user to climb the tree at 0.14 metres per second,” he explained.

Rapeepat explained that the Agriculture Department has set a monkey-free standard as part of its good agricultural practices in response to Peta’s report and is also selling small coconut-tree sprouts.

The climbing machines are being produced by three factories. Those interested in purchasing one can call the department’s Agricultural Engineering Research Institute at (02) 579 2757.

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