Chiang Rai, the northernmost province in Thailand, has become a major production base for Japanese rice because of its climate and locally developed strains of Japonica varieties that have similar qualities to those grown in Japan.
The strain is now grown on more than 20,000 rai in Chiang Rai alone, producing about 10,000 tonnes annually to serve rising demand as more Japanese flock to Thailand, said Piyapan Srikoom, a researcher at the Chiang Rai Rice Research Centre
New Thai Government said it will buy rice from farmers at above market prices.
Although this is good news for producers of rice, it has left the small vendors are feeling the impact.
But the millers are hanging on his stocks of rice, which has made it difficult for small family businesses to market their raw rice.
Worasak, a seller of raw rice, said: “Rice prices have increased due to the price of the new governments promised rice scheme.
“Farmers are reluctant to sell to the millers, as they believe they will get a better price when they sell to the government.
“Given that the new government rice prices 15. 000 baht per ton, current stock is held in the hope of a higher price in the near future. ”
In fact, some dealers said that prices rose as soon as the policy announced on speculation that Thai Pheu win the election.
Fears of a possible rice shortage and rising prices led consumers to stock up quickly.
Korbsook Iamsuri, president of the Rice Exporters Association of Thailand, said:
“Consumers panicked about rice prices to hear the news and information that could be undesirable from several points of sale.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, all this is just an overreaction.
The government has over a million tons in stock and about two million tonnes of rice out of the season hit the market this month and next to ensure adequate supply.
In fact, Thailand may be about 12 million tons of rice for export this year, a record.
Iamsuri Korbsook said: “In fact, Thailand never experienced a rice shortage, since they generally have twice the offer in hand against the domestic demand.
“That’s why our rice exports are so high because there is so much leftover rice in domestic consumption.”
However, the export price and shipping costs may increase, so the Thai rice more expensive abroad.
Thailand is part of the solution to emerging food security issues in rice-consuming world regions. Thailand’s historic commitment is to quality and quantity production of the best rice of the world.
Thailand expects to export close to 10 million tons of rice in 2011, or 30 percent of world rice consumption, to half of the world that relies on rice as a nutritious food staple.
Anna Wongsam- Chiangrai Times