Thailand approves $2.2 billion in help for rice farmers

Anything and everything about Thailand
Maple
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#1 Thailand approves $2.2 billion in help for rice farmers

Postby Maple » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:29 pm

Thailand approves $2.2 billion in help for rice farmers

The ministry said it would provide $1.57 billion in handouts to farmers and $633 million in loans that will cover 3.7 million households. The program will span the seasonal harvest from the start of November this year to the end of February 2018.

"This is to help take 2 million tonnes of rice from the market," Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, head of the commerce ministry's department of internal trade, told reporters. More at:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/thailand-app ... 20310.html

fountainhall
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#2 Re: Thailand approves $2.2 billion in help for rice farmers

Postby fountainhall » Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:18 pm

I think any additional income for farmers is beneficial. However, Maple omitted what I think is a key part of that new report -

"This subsidy program is essentially similar to past rice subsidies introduced by previous governments," said Somporn Isvilanonda, a senior fellow at the Knowledge Network Institute of Thailand who is critical of subsidies.

"The bottom line is these cash handouts create more debt for farmers," Somporn said.

I wonder what happens to the 2 million tonnes effectively withdrawn from the market. I see fake deals and corruption rearing its head - again!

Dodger
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#3 Re: Thailand approves $2.2 billion in help for rice farmers

Postby Dodger » Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:23 pm

Any time someone mentions the "B" Word ($Billion$) in Thailand you just have to cringe...or laugh..or fart...or something. At least that's what the rice farmers are doing about now.

How does that saying go..."Thais for Thais"....as they continue to rip each other off at every curve. .. :o

Oliver
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#4 Re: Thailand approves $2.2 billion in help for rice farmers

Postby Oliver » Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:06 pm

From what I know from my boyfriend's life in a rice-growing district of northern Thailand (not Isaan), the communities are in dire need of support.
When the farmers are distressed, there's a knock-on effect for the many communities which depend on the money generated by the rice-fields. Thailand requires a good dose of co-operative welfare-socialism- so that all citizens are able to achieve an appropriate standard of living. And that as I understand it, is why the many of the poor are despondent and others are seething.
Incidentally, it's always worthwhile listening to guys on the scene in Pattaya; you will no doubt hear of a similar situation pertaining in Isaan.

fountainhall
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#5 Re: Thailand approves $2.2 billion in help for rice farmers

Postby fountainhall » Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:02 pm

I have no doubts Oliver is correct. I have heard so many dreadful stories. Some mention cash from the old Rice Pledging scheme going to the big landowners and the big agri businesses but not directly to the farmers. Another is that so little trickled down to the farmers themselves that many were forced to go to money lenders and their extortionate interest rates. Some had to sell their land. Others just gave up and committed suicide.

The Rice Pledging Scheme on paper must have seemed a great election winner. But every single economist and every specialist in international rice economics predicted it would be a disaster as soon as it was announced. It was. Promising to purchase locally produced rice at 50% above world prices was unbelievably idiotic. India flooded the market and Vietnam lowered its price. Global prices plummeted and Thailand lost its position as the leading rice exporter. The programme cost the country over $20 billion and, as we have seen this last week, the sale of stored rice (an abysmal attempt to avoid world prices falling) became an elaborate fiction covering fraud on a massive scale. How anyone could seriously have believed the programme could actually work is unbelievable.

That world price has remained low. So now Thai farmers have to produce 3 times the amount of rice they did in 2011 to obtain the same total income - and 2011 was before Thaksin's Rice Pledging Scheme.

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Bob
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#6 Re: Thailand approves $2.2 billion in help for rice farmers

Postby Bob » Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:58 am

fountainhall wrote:Promising to purchase locally produced rice at 50% above world prices was unbelievably idiotic.

No doubt it was economically idiotic; however, that's what the political party promised prior to the election and the legislature approved it. Just a give-away program (supposedly) to the poor (or, as some may see it, to the party faithful).

Now, what about Prayut's deal which paid 150% of market prices to the rubber farmers? Equally economically idiotic and also a give-away program to the yellow-shirt faithful And, of course, won't Prayut will personally pay back to the Thai government the significant "losses" caused to the Thai government by this program? Not likely.

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#7 Re: Thailand approves $2.2 billion in help for rice farmers

Postby Oliver » Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:51 pm

The Red/Yellow shirt issue is not just a question of political parties. It is one of class and economic status.

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mahjongguy
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#8 Re: Thailand approves $2.2 billion in help for rice farmers

Postby mahjongguy » Mon Sep 04, 2017 2:33 pm

Oliver wrote:The Red/Yellow shirt issue is not just a question of political parties. It is one of class and economic status.

Is it? That's the way it's generally portrayed by CNN and BBC reporters. Doesn't make it true. Seems to me like one group of plutocrats pitted against another.

"Thailand requires a good dose of co-operative welfare-socialism- so that all citizens are able to achieve an appropriate standard of living. And that as I understand it, is why the many of the poor are despondent and others are seething. "

I agree to a large extent, but the anger of the poor is misdirected. They should be most dismayed by the party that used them as props and fodder.

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#9 Re: Thailand approves $2.2 billion in help for rice farmers

Postby Up2u » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:24 am

The party that used them? Well the party that used them also forgave their debt for four years (just like Congress did for Americans during the housing crisis), gave money to the villages (not just Bangkok), subsidies for gas and electricity, supported infrastructure projects, built Suvarnabhumi, a first time 30 baht universal health care program, just to name a few. Gee, if you for the first time were invited to the economic dinner party, who would you vote for? Now compare that to the minority of royalists, PAD, yellow shirts who conspired with the military to destroy the first budding, struggling democracy in Southeast Asia.

Oliver
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#10 Re: Thailand approves $2.2 billion in help for rice farmers

Postby Oliver » Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:40 pm

This is exactly what my boyfriend tells me about life in the Kamphaeng Phat district and it is what I saw when I was there last. if you talk ( and listen) to Pattaya residents and workers you will hear the same.


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