Ministry of Commerce,Thailand announces rice auction- Thailand’s Commerce Ministry is planning to auction more rice through the Agriculture Futures Exchange of Thailand (AFET), the Ministry made the announcement after a  joint meeting yesterday with representatives from the Thai Rice Mills Association (TRMA), Thai Rice Exporters Association (TREA), the Public Warehouse Organisation (PWO), the Internal Trade Department and the AFET. The Honorary President of the TREA requested the government to stop rice sales and conduct an audit of the existing stock.

According to a press release on the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) website. rice sector experts and stakeholders called for a total revamp of Thailand’s rice sector for it to sustain amid increasing costs and competition from other rice producing countries, –

Participants in a roundtable forum hosted by a local newspaper stressed the need for moving away from massive production and low prices model towards low volume high quality model and focus on serving niche premium markets. Speakers in the forum expressed concern over escalating costs and falling incomes for rice farmers. They noted that all stakeholders from farmers to millers to exporters should be made part of policy making. They noted that even the Thai milling industry is underutilized. While it has a capacity of milling around 80 million tons per annum, Thailand is producing only 28 million tons of milled rice. The participants suggested that the military government could increase farmers’ land ownership by allotting at least 50 rai (8 hectares) of land for each farmer to help them reduce their costs significantly. Most of the farmers spend heavily in land rentals. They noted that the government could allot around 100 billion baht in annual budget (around $3 billion) towards land allocation.

They noted that the government should move away from all kinds of subsidies and encourage rice farmers and rice sector to become competitive versus other rice exporting countries such as Vietnam and Myanmar.