Skip to main content

Water Hyacinth and Other Pest Crops

Anyone who has cruised Bangkok's canals is aware of the prevalence of water hyacinth (Java Weed); during the rainy season it is often so concentrated that it completely blocks a waterway. The weed is an exotic, introduced from Indonesia as a decorative flower late in the 19th century. In the warm, slow waters around Bangkok, it quickly became a pest, choking the waterways. It seemed to have no commercial value so harvesting it was without reward. Thus, it proliferated. It was especially prevalent in the Makkasan Swamp on the northeastern edge of the city. His Majesty initiated a project to use it as a means of filtering polluted water that flowed from the swamp into Saen Saeb, an important canal which flows through the heart of the capital. Since the hyacinth can absorb heavy metals, it cleaned the swamp of toxic pollutants that had been killing fish. Today, fish thrive in the sanitized water. He also found an economical means of turning the excess hyacinth into compost to fertilize truck gardens that produce many of the vegetables found in Bangkok's wet markets, in essence turning a waste product into an asset.

Share this article

thailandtoday thailandtoday thailandtoday

thailandtoday thailandtoday thailandtoday

thailandtoday thailandtoday thailandtoday

thailandtoday thailandtoday thailandtoday

thailandtoday thailandtoday thailandtoday

thailandtoday thailandtoday thailandtoday

thailandtoday thailandtoday thailandtoday