Rice : gvt to buy directly from farmers and to sell subsidized rice

The government yesterday announced a new measure to buy rice directly from farmers, to ensure that they benefit from skyrocketing prices for the product.

The measure is aimed at not only maintaining the government’s working rice stockpile, but also alleviating the burden of the rising cost of living on the common man by selling 5-kilogram packs of rice directly to consumers.

Commerce Minister Mingkwan Sangsuwan yesterday said some of the government’s 2.1 million tonnes of rice would be released. The selling price would be at least 15-per-cent lower than the current market price of Bt160 to Bt190 per 5kg pack of white rice.

As the fears of exporters and rice millers will exert pressure on the prices, the government will purchase paddy rice directly from farmers. The government will offer farmers the market price, which will also enable it to maintain the government stockpile of 2.1 million tonnes at all times.

The first stocks should be released within the next two weeks.

The ministry did not say how many volumes it would release but said the government would buy enough rice to replenish whatever was released from the government’s security stocks. (Nation)

Okay, now it’s official.

2 importants points :

-the government is going to use its security stock (within 2 weeks), in order to sell rice at subsidized price (-15 % compare to full retail prices).

-meanwhile the government will buy directly from farmers (at full price), in order to replenish its security stock

The key question, and of course the Minister remains silent on this issue, is : what quantity ?

My point : is it a mere public relation decision (with symbolic quantities), or is it a real program with real quantities of rice ?

This kind of policy, that can have a direct effect on the market (supply-demand), kept in secret, is likely to be a failure.

The government refuses to play the transparency card… It’s a wrong signal sent to the market.

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