18 November 2016
Thai farmers have been witnessing the rice price plunge which further hurt their income and living standards. The government’s measures to alleviate their plight have been quick fixes at best. It must come up with a longer term plan to tackle the bigger issue of economic restructuring.
Rice farmers are nowadays among the saddest people in Thailand, the world’s second largest rice exporter. They have been witnessing their crop prices plunge. For example, jasmine rice price has declined to US$725 per tonne, the lowest since 2008. The farmers voiced their grievances to the Thai government which took some swift actions through to alleviate the problem.
For instance, the junta set up a series of schemes to ease the market glut and stabilise the prices. The authorities handed out subsidies worth at least US$1.3 billion to the jasmine rice growers who withheld flooding the market with their crops for six months. On 7 November 2016, another support plan worth US$514 million was approved. Military staff were deployed to check the rice stockpiles at certain millers which were suspected of price collusion. Additionally, the authorities promised to foster a fair relationship among the stakeholders namely farmers, millers, middlemen, and exporters.
… Kaewkamol Pitakdumrongkit is an Assistant Professor at the Centre for Multilateralism Studies, at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
CMS / GPO / Online
Last updated on 22/11/2016