As per sources, the Thai Commerce Ministry is planning to introduce a new pledging scheme for Hom Mali rice as part of measures to control prices during the harvest season. Further, he Ministry will seek approval from the rice sales panel which monitors paddy prices closely during the harvest period. According to the President of the Thai Rice Exporters Association (TREA) that move is aimed at delaying the release of new supply in November and December. It has been noted that rice traders normally try to take advantage of farmers who are keen to sell their output by forcing them to sell at lower prices. To avoid any impact on market prices, the Ministry is encouraging farmers to delay the release of their stocks into the market.
In addition, the Ministry is also planning to encourage farmers with rice barns to join the scheme and indicated that the Ministry may offer 1,000 baht (around $28) per ton as storage charges. However, the scheme participants are required to have adequate quality control systems in their barns. Further, the time limit for the scheme is not yet decided but as per local sources, it could be initially set for three months. In this context, it has also been indicated that the rice farmers will lose nothing but instead receive cash to help them survive for three months until they can sell at a good price. The exporters have welcomed the decision as it would stabilize the prices. It has also been described that the government is expecting the Hom Mali output at around 3.5 million tons (basis, milled) which is almost unchanged from the last year.