Rice producers in Thailand are facing difficult times due to high production costs. Even the leading farmers in the country are having the lowest incomes among rice producers in Asia. Recent reports revealed that rice production costs in Thailand are 139% higher than the ones in Vietnam and 37% higher than the ones in Myanmar.
This results in the leading farmers in Thailand having an income balance of just 1,556 baht per rai, compared to 3,180 baht in Vietnam and 3,484 baht in Myanmar. Aat Pisanwanich, the dean of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce said, “This comes despite the government setting rice-buying prices higher than market rates through its pledging scheme over the past three years’’.
During a year, Vietnam harvests three rice crops and Thailand and Myanmar harvest two. The dean of the university has put the blame on lower productivity and higher production costs related to salaries, power and water. Pisanwanich went on to say that political intervention in the rice market via the government’s pledging scheme has also contributed to the current situation.
The dean also stated that the new government must think twice in the rice pledging scheme and that it must help farmers through the subsidies in order to reduce production costs by 40% to help in increasing the income of farmers.
Photo Credits: Ipe Zone