Rice prices spike threatens farmers in Thailand

Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

An increase in rice prices is causing concern for local farmers and rice millers in Uttradit, Thailand. The Agricultural Cooperative of Uttradit City Limited, known for producing and selling the “Good Udom” brand of bagged rice, is currently facing a shortage of husked rice. This crisis is due to large-scale rice millers purchasing at high rates, causing the price of rice to increase substantially.

This price surge is a ripple effect of India’s decision to halt rice exports, causing global rice prices to skyrocket. The current situation is expected to last until the end of this year or early next year.

The manager of the Agricultural Cooperative of Uttradit City Limited, Praphan Mairayong, along with the production and marketing team, inspected the stock of husked rice and bagged rice. At present, the husked rice supply is on a buy-and-sell basis with no stock available. The cooperative has temporarily halted operations and will only mill rice when husked rice is available. They are now only packaging for their regular customers – over 200 stores, as they cannot cater to walk-in customers due to the shortage. Praphan said…

“Currently, our mill is short of husked rice because farmers in Uttradit only have crops in the Pichai district. However, large-scale mill operators from other provinces are buying at high prices, over 12,000 baht per tonne. This has turned into a golden opportunity for our farmers.”

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To alleviate the surging rice prices problem, the cooperative sent teams to different districts and provinces to buy husked rice from farmers. The rice is then immediately processed, packaged, and sold with no stock left. The cooperative informed its customers to adjust the price of bagged rice by 1 baht per kilogramme to sustain the business. This situation is expected to last until the harvest season of the annual rice crop, around late this year or early next year reported KhaoSod. Prapan said…

“The production of annual rice is uncertain due to drought conditions. The weather has affected the rice yield, which is expected to decrease. For now, Uttradit province has received very little rain, insufficient for annual rice farming, especially outside the irrigation area. In the irrigation area, we are encouraging farmers to adopt a large plot system to reduce costs. We are planning to grow quality rice to sell full grain at full units and limit the expansion of farming areas. We fear that the yield will be damaged if there is not enough water.”

Last year, the yield had decreased from 1,200 kilogrammes per acre to only 600 to 800 kilogrammes. This situation could deprive farmers of opportunities as rice prices are expected to continue to rise this year.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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