Govt controls rice price, small farmer businesses fail | Bangkok Post: learning

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Govt controls rice price, small farmer businesses fail

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As govt becomes only buyer of rice, local farmer groups producing high quality rice products forced out of business. 

Small rice farmers helping each other out transplanting rice (Source: Wikipedia)

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Agriculture

Local Concerns: The collapse of organic rice

Victims to pledging
19 Mar 2013
Prapas Pintobtaeng

There is no doubt about it. The rice pledging policy is overwhelmingly popular with rice farmers. .... The paddy price offered by the Thai Rice Association is only 10,500 baht a tonne when the price offered by the government is 15,000 baht. The market paddy price for Hom Mali jasmine rice is 15,000 a tonne while it is 20,000 baht from the government.

In other words, the government pays the farmers 4,500-5,000 baht a tonne more than market prices...

...Domestic market prices remain low, and not very different from what they were before Oct 7, 2011, when the rice pledging programme started.

The government never tells us how much money it earns from government-to-government rice deals. If it is making money, the government would boast about it for sure. But what crazy government would buy rice from us when it is dearer than rice which can be found elsewhere on the market?...

....[the government's policy] has seriously hurt community rice mills and co-operatives. They are closing down one by one because they cannot afford to buy rice at the same price as the government which is now monopolising the rice industry.

These community mills and co-operatives came into existence with state support to solve the problem of rice price fluctuation. All the resources put into these co-operatives will now go to waste as community mills will soon be abandoned.

These community mills are also closely linked with farmers who produce high-quality rice such as organic rice. When the market price for Hom Mali rice was previously 15,000 baht a tonne, the mills bought it at 17,000-18,000 baht. But with the government offering the farmers 20,000 baht, the community mills can no longer compete.

The Kud Chum community rice mill in Yasothon which specialises in organic rice is one of the most established. Its milling capacity is 60 tonnes a day. It used to have 600 organic rice farmers as members. Now only 379 remain. The rest have turned to chemical farming to sell their rice to the government.

Farmers in irrigated areas have also turned to fast-growing rice to increase crops. It does not matter what rice varieties they are growing. It does not matter how poor the rice quality is because they get the same price anyway.

Rice quality is important. Encouraging farmers to increase rice quality has been the government's policy for the past 20-30 years. Organic rice farming has also been included in many national development plans. But the rice pledging programme is destroying organic rice farming...

Community mills are also used as a tool for farmers to increase their bargaining power with middlemen. This is also a crucial aspect of rice farming. The rice pledging programme, however, has undermined the farmers' organisations and bargaining power. ...  

Prapas Pintobtaeng is assistant professor in political science, Chulalongkorn University

(Source: Bangkok Post, Agriculture, Local Concerns: The collapse of organic rice, Victims to pledging, 19 Mar 2013, Prapas Pintobtaeng, link


Rice Policy Vocabulary 

rice - (See Wikipedia)
rice production in Thailand - (See Wikipedia)

rice pledging programme - the government policy for protecting farmers from price changes that could hurt them (or for offering farmers high prices for their rice to win their votes)

policy - a plan of action to guide decisions and achieve outcomes นโยบาย (See Wikipedia)
rice pledging policy

organic farming - farming without chemical fertilizers or pesticides (herbicides, insecticides and fungicides) or other chemicals such as "plant growth regulators such as hormones, livestock antibiotics, food additives, genetically modified organisms, human sewage sludge, and nanomaterials," instead using crop rotation, green manure, compost and biological pest control (See Wikipedia)
organic rice - rice grown using organic farming

local - in the small area where people live, such as a village or tambon
concerns
local concerns

collapse - (of people and business) to fail suddenly; to suddenly be unable to continue or work correctly ล้ม (ธุรกิจ)
collapse of organic rice

Local Concerns: The collapse of organic rice

victim - someone who has been affected by a bad situation, such as an illness or an accident or a crime เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย
victims to pledging

doubt - not know for sure if something is true or false, uncertain
There is no doubt about it.

overwhelmingly -
much more than anything else, emphasizes size or strength of something ขาดลอย, ลอยลำ, นำโด่ง, อย่างท่วมท้น
overwhelmingly popular - very popular, extremely popular, many people like it  
a overwhelmingly popular policy

The rice pledging policy is overwhelmingly popular with rice farmers. ....

paddy - rice after it has been harvested from the field   ข้าวเปลือก
paddy price - the price of rice
market paddy price

 The paddy price offered by the Thai Rice Association is only 10,500 baht a tonne when the price offered by the government is 15,000 baht. The market paddy price for Hom Mali jasmine rice is 15,000 a tonne while it is 20,000 baht from the government.

in other words, ... -  saying this in a different way, ....
In other words, the government pays the farmers 4,500-5,000 baht a tonne more than market prices...

...Domestic market prices remain low, and not very different from what they were before Oct 7, 2011, when the rice pledging programme started.

government-to-government rice deals - agreements between governments to buy large amounts of rice (sometimes "barter" deals, trading goods and not using money)
The government never tells us how much money it earns from government-to-government rice deals.

boast - to tell people about the all the good things you have done, brag คุยโม้, คุยโต
If it is making money, the government would boast about it for sure.

dear - expensive
dearer - more expensive
But what crazy government would buy rice from us when it is dearer than rice which can be found elsewhere on the market?...

rice mills - factories that take rice from the fields and turn it into a food product that can be sold in stores โรงสีข้าว, โรงสี,

community - the people living in one particular area ชุมชน
community rice mills

agricultural cooperative - a organization owned and operated by small farmers that helps them sell the crops they grow (See Wikipedia)
cooperatives - สหกรณ์
community cooperatives 
....[the government's policy] has seriously hurt community rice mills and co-operatives.

monopolise
- when a company, government or other organization controls some industry or market and prevents other companies from entering it ทำให้มีสิทธิ์เพียงผู้เดียว
monopolise the rice industry
the government which is now monopolising the rice industry

afford - to have enough money to be able to pay for something มีเงินพอจับจ่าย ซื้อหา  มีเงิน/ทุนพอ
cannot afford to buy rice

close down - close a business or factory; stop operation of a factory or business 
one by one -
happens to one, then happens to another , .... and so on
closing down one by one

They are closing down one by one because they cannot afford to buy rice at the same price as the government which is now monopolising the rice industry.

state - government รัฐ
support - help, by giving money, for example สนับสนุน
state support

came into existence - started operation
came into existence with state support

These community mills and co-operatives came into existence with state support to solve the problem of rice price fluctuation.

abandoned - left someone and no longer used ที่ถูกละทิ้ง ถูกปล่อยทิ้งไว้
abandoned community mills

resources - things such as money, workers and equipment that can be used to help achieve something ทรัพยากร
resources put into co-operatives

All the resources put into these co-operatives will now go to waste as community mills will soon be abandoned.

linked - connected เชื่อมโยง เกี่ยวกับ
closely linked with

These community mills are also closely linked with farmers who produce high-quality rice such as organic rice. When the market price for Hom Mali rice was previously 15,000 baht a tonne, the mills bought it at 17,000-18,000 baht. But with the government offering the farmers 20,000 baht, the community mills can no longer compete.

established - has existed for a long time ก่อตั้่ง be in a successful position over a long period of time มีตำแหน่งที่มั่นคง
the most established
one of the most established
the rice mill is one of the most established
The Kud Chum community rice mill in Yasothon which specialises in organic rice is one of the most established.

production capacity - the amount of something that can be produced ความสามารถในการ (ผลิต)
milling capacity - the amount of processed or milled rice that can be produced by a rice mill during a period of time

Its milling capacity is 60 tonnes a day. It used to have 600 organic rice farmers as members. Now only 379 remain. The rest have turned to chemical farming to sell their rice to the government.

irrigation
(noun) -  การทดน้ำ, การชลประทาน
irrigate (verb) - ทดน้ำ, ชลประทาน
irrigated areas
farmers in irrigated areas
Farmers in irrigated areas have also turned to fast-growing rice to increase crops.

rice varieties - different kinds of rice
it does not matter ... - is true for any kind, every kind ....
It does not matter what rice varieties they are growing. It does not matter how poor the rice quality is because they get the same price anyway.

encourage - giving a person energy and motivation and strength to do something ปลุกใจ
Rice quality is important. Encouraging farmers to increase rice quality has been the government's policy for the past 20-30 years.

national development plans - government plans to improve, modernise, industrialize the economy (to improve incomes and quality of life) (See Wikipedia)
Organic rice farming has also been included in many national development plans. But the rice pledging programme is destroying organic rice farming...

middlemen - people between the factory and producer and the consumer or customer (who buy and sell goods in bulk) พ่อค้าคนกลาง

bargaining - try to get a better deal from someone (for example, a better price for something you want to buy) การต่อรอง, การต่อรองราคา
bargaining power - อำนาจต่อรอง
farmer bargaining power with middlemen

Community mills are also used as a tool for farmers to increase their bargaining power with middlemen.

crucial  - very  important because it effects the result of something สำคัญยิ่ง สำคัญมาก
aspect - one part of a situation, problem, subject, etc ด้าน,มุม

a crucial
aspect
a crucial aspect of rice farming

This is also a crucial aspect of rice farming.

undermine - make weak ทำลาย, บ่อนทำลาย, ก่อวินาศกรรม, เซาะ, ทำให้เสื่อมลง
The rice pledging programme, however, has undermined the farmers' organisations and bargaining power. ...

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