Coconut brooms – a highly successful community enterprise in Sam Roi Yot district

Coconut brooms - a highly successful community enterprise in Sam Roi Yot district
Coconut brooms - a highly successful community enterprise in Sam Roi Yot district

Hua Hin Todays reporters visited Ban Phu Yai in Sam Roi Yot sub-district, Prachuap Khiri Khan province, where we discovered the ‘Ban Phu Yai Broom Group’, a community entrepreneurial group set up to make a coconut brooms.

Mrs Bang-on Kampanwong, the chairman of the group, explained to us that previously people were coming from Prachinburi province to buy their coconut stalks, convert them into brooms, and ship them back to the markets in the Prachuap Khiri Khan area and local people were asking “Why do we have no notion to accomplish it on our own&” They went to the village’s old folks to learn how to make the brooms, and they encouraged all of their brothers and sisters to come together and help each other.

Coconut trees are to be found in abundance in the Sam Roi Yot sub-district so they had plentiful free raw material. At first they exclusively sold in their own village, but it was discovered to have excellent quality and good sales potential, therefore sales outlets were expanded. Customers trust the product because it is durable and strong, and they can now produce brooms for sale throughout the country and also export to Panama.

This sales growth has generated significant income for group members and they have been produced for sale since 2001, almost 20 years, the brooms come in three sizes and two types, made up of a bundle and a handle. Today, most of the brooms sold in the markets of Prachuap province come from this community, and wholesale customers come to the area to pick up their brooms to sell in many provinces throughout the country.

These include Prachinburi, Sa Kaeo, Nakhon Pathom, and Samut Sakhon, where the products sell so well that sometimes they can’t supply enough to keep up with demand. A Thai exporting company contacted the group two years ago and requested the product for export to Panama, to date their organisation has been very successful.

Ms Kanchana Suwat, 38, one of the members, said that before coming to create brooms, she was a housewife caring for her children at home, but as the children grew older and went to school, she had more free time and decided to join a broom group community as a side job. Such is the success and high demand the broom making has now become her primary career because she earns money every day, with a monthly income of at least 4,000- 5,000 baht without having to work far away from the house.

The flexibility is great for women like Kanchana as they can finish their homework first, then come to manufacture a broom, and people can quit at any moment, and currently she makes at least 300 baht for each day she works. Whenever there is a rush order they will work extra hours, even through the night, and earn even more income for the week. “Now I feel very proud of my career,” said Kanchana.

Now in 2021 the district has supported the group’s registration as a ºcommunity enterprise group’, and the brooms are specified as an OTOP product to boost sales further, the district is also ready to assist with marketing in digital media as well.