• Rice Paddy thief in Korat

    A farmer in Korat, Nakhon Ratchasima province woke up one morning to discover that all his rice paddy was gone. Paisarn the farmer and victim went to file a report with the police after he had laid out paddy to dry behind the village.

    Paisarn stated that he hired a man to harvest the paddy from his rice field and to also dry the paddy in preparation to sell it. The man dried the rice out on land behind Paisarn’s village where there was enough air and sun throughout the day. Paisarn didn’t think that this would be a problem as he didn’t want to layout the paddy on the road. Paddy is often dried on the road in Thailand and this causes many inconveniences to drivers.

    Paisarn decided to go sleep at home and didn’t hire anyone to keep watch of the paddy for him. He believed the paddy would be safe as they were still in the village with lots of people. This is not the first year that Paisarn decided to dry out his paddy behind the village, so he didn’t even think it was possible for someone to steal all of his hard work.

    When morning came Paisarn told his wife to go check the paddy and see if it was dry enough to deliver. Turns out when his wife arrived she found nothing but emptiness and a few piles of paddy left behind by the thief. All of the paddies were gone with the fabric he used to place the rice on. There were trials left behind that lead to the main road. The trials were a result of dragging the fabric through the grass.

    Total damage was about 10 large sacks of paddy worth more than 4,000 THB. The victim decided to go tell the village leader of what happened and then he went to file a report with the Kong Police Station. For many rice farmers, they only get to harvest their rice a few times per year. The money that they make is often not enough to survive and many choose to go work in the city to find the money for their family while the rice is growing. Stealing paddy might not seem like a big deal, but to the victims, it can cause serious stress and financial issues as the year continues.

    Credit: Sanook
    Credit: Sanook

    FB Caption: when his wife arrived she found nothing but emptiness and a few piles of paddy left behind by the thief.


  • Rice traders blame strength of Thai baht for hurting exports

    The president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, Charoen Laothamtas, is concerned that the strong Thai baht is having a negative impact on rice exports.

    He notes that the baht has risen about 6% against the US dollar since January, whereas the Vietnam dong has held steady and the Indian rupee has even weakened.

    “The stronger baht has largely made Thai rice more expensive than those of our competitors. Homali fragrant rice, for example, currently costs $1,200 per metric tonne, while Vietnam jasmine is only $520.”

    He adds that total rice exports are expected to reach 9 million tonnes this year, down from 11.2 million in 2018. Water shortages are not helping matters, with so little water in reserve at dams.

    Meanwhile, rice vendors are complaining about the rising cost of glutinous rice, but Charoen points out that glutinous rice is for domestic consumption rather than export, and its price is quite sensitive to local demand and supply.

    Farmers in the northeast have given up growing it, as preferences shift to fragrant rice, resulting in a diminished supply.

    SOURCE: The Nation

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