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Thailand Covid: Idle taxis used to grow food for out-of-work drivers

A sea of vegetables grow on the roofs of abandoned taxis in Ratchaphruek Taxi Cooperative in Bangkok, Thailand. image source, EPA

In a car park in the Thai capital Bangkok, green shoots sprout from the roofs of colourful taxis.

Thailand's tough Covid-19 restrictions have left the city's hectic streets quiet, putting taxi drivers out of work.

As fares dried up, many drivers left the city for their home villages, leaving so-called taxi graveyards behind.

Now, one company has decided to use the roofs of the idle vehicles as small vegetable plots, which they hope can help to feed out-of-work drivers and other employees.

Thai staff members of the Ratchaphruek Taxi Cooperative water their community vegetable garden that was built on top of out of use Thai taxis on September 13, 2021 in Bangkok, Thailand. image source, Getty Images

A staff member water vegetables on the roof of a car. image source, EPA

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Workers at the Ratchaphruek Taxi Cooperative built the miniature gardens by stretching black bin liners across bamboo frames and covering them with soil.

They then planted a variety of crops, including chillies, cucumbers and courgettes.

It is hoped that after helping the drivers, any leftover food can be sold at local markets.

The son of a Thai staff members of the Ratchaphruek Taxi Cooperative waters their community vegetable garden that was built on top of out of use Thai taxis on September 13, 2021 in Bangkok, Thailand. image source, Getty Images

A row of abandoned taxis in Bangkok, image source, EPA

image captionThe sign on this car says: "Prime minister please help us"

The taxi trade in Bangkok normally relies heavily on tourism but tight restrictions on entering the country means it has almost come to a standstill.

"This is our last option," Thapakorn Assawalertkun, one of the company owners, told AFP news agency, adding that many of the vehicles still had large loans outstanding on them.

"Growing vegetables on top of the roofs won't damage the taxis since most of them have already been damaged beyond repair. The engines are broken, tyres are flat. There's nothing that could be done," he said.

A view of the parking lot turned community garden at the Ratchaphruek Taxi Cooperative, where they're using taxi roofs as vegetable planters on September 11, 2021 in Bangkok, Thailand. image source, Getty Images

A worker watering plants on the roof of an abandoned taxi. image source, EPA

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