Cabinet okays price-guarantee scheme for rice farmers
NationalNov 10. 2020
By The NationIn response to concerns over the drop in the price of jasmine rice due to export slowdown and limited tourism owing to the Covid-19 crisis, the Cabinet has given the go-ahead to a rice-guarantee scheme for farmers who will harvest their rice crop at the end of the rainy season.
Ratchada Dhnadirek, deputy government spokesperson, said on Tuesday that under the scheme, the price per tonne of rice will be guaranteed at Bt15,000 for jasmine, Bt14,000 for off-season jasmine, Bt10,000 for ordinary rice, Bt11,000 for Pathum Thani rice and Bt12,000 for sticky rice.
The Cabinet has also okayed schemes to motivate farmers, cooperatives, farming institutions as well as rice traders to stock up on rice to stabilise market prices.
The target is to stock up 7 million tonnes via projects such as:
• Delaying the sale of rice by paying a deposit of Bt1,500 per tonne with the target of 1.5 million tonnes.
• Getting farmers cooperatives to pay 1 per cent of loan interest to stock up rice. The aim is to collect 1.5 million tonnes.
• Compensating rice merchants 3 per cent of interest with the target of stocking 4 million tonnes.
Thai rice export in 2021
The Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry expects more rice to be produced this year thanks to a sufficient supply of water. This may bring the domestic price of rice down, after it has been high for the past year or two due to drought.
This reduction in price will also make it more competitive in the world market, and should result in higher exports next year. It is expected that bigger orders will come from Australia and African countries.
Ratchada also said the Rice Policy and Management Committee has approved the government’s 2021-2025 strategy, which focuses on the production of rice in line with the market demand. Thai rice is grouped into seven types based on the needs of three markets:
• Premium market, which consumes jasmine and Thai fragrant rice;
• The general market that consumes soft white, hard white and parboiled rice; and
• Specialised markets that consumes glutinous rice, coloured rice or rice with special features.
The committee said it wants to develop varieties that can compete with competitors in the world market so farmers earn more.