Thai rice problem escalates as stockpiles start rotting

Reading Time: 2 minutes

rice_Huge stockpiles of rice in Thai warehouses, partly kept there since the 2011 harvest season, have reportedly started to rot as the government has been unable to sell the rice for a reasonable price after it bought it from farmers 50 per cent above world market prices in accordance with its rice pledging scheme.

In one case, villagers of Chachoengsao province east of Bangkok have started complaining about a “foul smell” coming out of a large government-run warehouse which might have been caused by flour beetle contamination. Whole village areas are covered by the stench especially during windy conditions and bad weather, they say, adding that no government official is taking any action.

Similar reports have come in from other warehouses in the country. Rumours have also spread on social media that the government has started “overfumigating” the old rice stockpiles to reduce moisture and keep off insects. Bloggers allege that parts of this heavily treated rice have found its way to hypermarket chains that repacked it for sale as their “house brand”.

This suspicion has triggered waves of protests on Facebook with bloggers saying to avoid buying such rice from the supermarket as it may be hazardous to health. The warnings said consumers should not buy old rice which is normally muddy in colour and contains flakes or dust, and smells mouldy even if it looks freshly packed.

However, hypermarket operators defended the reports saying that they “strictly comply with international standards.”

Meanwhile, the Thai finance ministry admitted that losses from the rice pledging scheme in the first harvest year 2011/12 amounted to 136 billion bath ($4.3 billion), a volume that has been questioned by analysts for its accuracy. There are currently around 2.5 million tonnes of rice stockpiled across the country, the ministry said.

The National Rice Policy Committee of Thailand on June 18 proposed that the cabinet cut the paddy pledging ceiling price to no more than 13,500 baht from 15,000 a tonne and not accept all grain under the scheme.

Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Huge stockpiles of rice in Thai warehouses, partly kept there since the 2011 harvest season, have reportedly started to rot as the government has been unable to sell the rice for a reasonable price after it bought it from farmers 50 per cent above world market prices in accordance with its rice pledging scheme.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

rice_Huge stockpiles of rice in Thai warehouses, partly kept there since the 2011 harvest season, have reportedly started to rot as the government has been unable to sell the rice for a reasonable price after it bought it from farmers 50 per cent above world market prices in accordance with its rice pledging scheme.

In one case, villagers of Chachoengsao province east of Bangkok have started complaining about a “foul smell” coming out of a large government-run warehouse which might have been caused by flour beetle contamination. Whole village areas are covered by the stench especially during windy conditions and bad weather, they say, adding that no government official is taking any action.

Similar reports have come in from other warehouses in the country. Rumours have also spread on social media that the government has started “overfumigating” the old rice stockpiles to reduce moisture and keep off insects. Bloggers allege that parts of this heavily treated rice have found its way to hypermarket chains that repacked it for sale as their “house brand”.

This suspicion has triggered waves of protests on Facebook with bloggers saying to avoid buying such rice from the supermarket as it may be hazardous to health. The warnings said consumers should not buy old rice which is normally muddy in colour and contains flakes or dust, and smells mouldy even if it looks freshly packed.

However, hypermarket operators defended the reports saying that they “strictly comply with international standards.”

Meanwhile, the Thai finance ministry admitted that losses from the rice pledging scheme in the first harvest year 2011/12 amounted to 136 billion bath ($4.3 billion), a volume that has been questioned by analysts for its accuracy. There are currently around 2.5 million tonnes of rice stockpiled across the country, the ministry said.

The National Rice Policy Committee of Thailand on June 18 proposed that the cabinet cut the paddy pledging ceiling price to no more than 13,500 baht from 15,000 a tonne and not accept all grain under the scheme.

Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid