K-pop's declining popularity, rise of Vietnamese jasmine rice & govt rubber price accepted by north, rejected by south.
A worker continues to make sheet rubber at a rubber cooperative in Nakhon Si Thammarat, where several hundred rubber farmers are holding a week-long protest to demand that the government raise prices for their sector (Photo by Patipat Janthong)
K-pop starts to fizzle out
The popularity of South Korean content is declining among young Thai consumers Ratings for Korean TV series, K-pop concerts and internet searches for Korean artists have been steadily down for three years in Thailand.
The K-pop phenomenon began in Thailand in 2008 with Dae Jang-guem, the popular TV series about traditional Korean palace cooking, followed by Autumn in My Heart and Full House and others. Popular South Korean singers are Rain, F4, Dong Bang shin Ki, 2pm, Girls' Generation and Nichkhun.
The ratings and popularity of international TV drama series have been falling since 2009 with Korean shows leading the pack at 23%, Japanese shows at 18%, Western at 15% and Chinese at 7%. The decline in popularity may be may be due to a shift from regular TV to other media such as online TV, smartphones, tablets and home entertainment.
[Read full story here ]
Thai jasmine rice challenged
Thai Hom Mali rice faces stiffer competition in international markets as several countries step up their efforts to expand their export markets for aromatic grains
Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar are accelerating the development of their aromatic rice varieties and their export support. US supermarkets now place more Vietnamese aromatic rice on their shelves and US produced fragrant rice - dubbed Jazzmen - is now available in California. Thai Hom Mali sells for US$1,150 a tonne, but Vietnamese aromatic rice is only $550-600.
Hong Kong remains a key market for Thai Hom Mali, making up about 300,000 tonnes and it is also growing in popularity in Africa.
[Read full story here ]
Rubber protesters split: North accepts South rejects
Rubber farmers in the Central Plains, North and Northeast have accepted the government's rubber subsidy offer
The government offer raises the raw sheet rubber price to 80 baht per kilogramme and subsidises rubber cultivation at 1,260 baht per rai up to a maximum of 10 rai per farmer. The cap on rubber plantation subsidies may be increased from 10 to 25 rai.
Ubon Ratchathani farmers were demanding 92 baht per kilogramme for sheet rubber but the offer of 80 baht was accepted Farmers in Nakhon Si Thammarat are demanding the government give them 100 baht per kilogramme for raw sheet rubber
Farmers in the South continued to hold out with protests continuing in Nakhon Si Thammarat Thursday. A road blockade remains in place but the number of demonstrators dwindled as the protest entered its seventh day.
The government said it would not use force to disperse the demonstrators The blockade there had forced school closures prevented the transfer of seriously ill hospital patients and also prevented the delivery of the agricultural goods of other farmers to market.
The government would lend 5 billion baht to rubber farmers to produce value-added rubber products instead of selling only raw sheet rubber as well as 15 billion baht to large-scale rubber industrialists to upgrade factories.
[Read full story subsidy" >here ]
Learn from listening
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accelerating: happening at a faster rate - เร่งให้เร็วขึ้น
accept: to agree to or approve of something - ยอมรับ
aromatic: having an especially good smell - มีกลิ่นหอม
blockade: to stop someone/ something from moving through or along something else - ปิดกั้น, กีดขวาง
cap: an upper limit on an amount of money that can be spent or borrowed - ขีดสูงสุด, ครอบ
challenge: to invite someone to do something difficult or risky, such as to compete or fight; question whether something is true, accurate, or legal - ท้า คัดค้าน
closure: the shutting down of a school, factory or other business or service - การปิด
competition: a situation in which people or organizations compete, i.e., try to be more successful or better than somebody else who is trying to do the same as you - การแข่งขัน
consumer: someone who buys and uses goods and services - ผู้บริโภค
content: the subject, ideas, or story that a piece of writing or a radio or television programme deals with - เนื้อหา,สาระ
continued: happening or existing for a period of time without interruption - ซึ่งติดต่อกัน, ซึ่งต่อเนื่องกัน
cooperative: a business or farm owned and run by the people involved, with the profits shared by them - สมาคมสหกรณ์
cultivation: the preparation and use of land for growing plants or crops - การเตรียมดินสำหรับเพาะปลูก
delivery: the act of taking goods, letters, etc. to the people they have been sent to - การส่ง, การส่งสินค้า
demand: a very firm request for something - ข้อเรียกร้อง, การเรียกร้อง
demonstrators: people who march with other people in public to show that they support or oppose something - ผู้ชุมนุมประท้วง
development: the gradual growth of something so that it becomes more advanced, stronger, etc - การพัฒนา
disperse: (of a crowd of people) to separate and leave in different directions - สลายฝูงชน
drama: a play for the theatre, television or radio - บทละคร
due to: because of - เนื่องจาก
dwindle: to become gradually less or smaller over a period of time until almost nothing remains - ลดลงไปทีละน้อย
effort: an attempt to do something - ความพยายาม
fizzle out: to gradually become less successful and end in a disappointing way - จบลงด้วยการล้มเหลว
force: making someone do something that they don't want to do - การบังคับ
grain: the small hard seeds of food plants such as wheat, rice, etc; a single seed of such a plant - เมล็ดข้าว, เมล็ดพืช
hold out: not agree to an offer, wait for something better -
in place: prepared and ready to use - เข้าที่, อยู่ในที่
industrialist: an owner of a company that has factories and does manufacturing -
international: connected with or involving two or more countries - นานาชาติ, สากล, ระหว่างประเทศ
key: very important - ที่สำคัญ
lead the pack: to be out in front, to be winning a competition, to be in first place -
make up: to be part of something, to consist of - Chinese make up 50% of the city's residents
maximum: the most possible - ที่สูงสุด ที่มากที่สุด
offer: an act of saying that you are willing to do something for somebody or give something to somebody - เสนอเพื่อให้พิจารณา
palace: the official home of a king, queen, president, etc, a large impressive house - พระราชวัง, ตำหนัก, ปราสาท
patient: someone who is receiving medical treatment - คนป่วย, คนไข้
phenomenon (plural phenomena): something that exists and can be seen, felt, tasted, etc., especially something which is unusual or interesting - ปรากฏการณ์
plantation: a large farm where crops such as tea, coffee, cotton, sugar or, in this case, trees, are grown - ไร่ นาขนาดใหญ่
popular: a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people - เป็นที่นิยม, เป็นที่ชื่นชอบ
popularity: a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people - ความเป็นที่นิยม, ความเป็นที่ชื่นชอบ
prevent: to stop somebody from doing something; to stop something from happening - ขัดขวาง, กัน, กีดขวาง
protest: a meeting or rally, sometimes forceful or violent, of people who strongly disagree with something - ชุมนุมประท้วง
protester: someone who shows that they disagree with something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc - ผู้ต่อต้าน, ผู้ประท้วง
rating: a measurement of how good or popular someone or something is - การประเมิน
raw: in its natural state; not yet changed, used or made into something else - ดิบ
regular: normal; following a pattern, especially with the same time and space in between each thing and the next - ปกติ
reject: to not accept something - ปฏิเสธ ไม่ยอมรับ
remain: to still be present after the other parts have been removed, used, etc; to continue to exist - ยังเหลืออยู่
rubber: a bouncy, elastic material used in car tires and waterproof gloves - กล้ายาง
search: looking somewhere or through something carefully in order to find something - การค้นหา
sector: a part of a country’s economic or business activity - ภาค (เศรษฐกิจ)
sheet: a thin flat piece of paper, metal, plastic, glass etc - สิ่งที่เป็นแผ่นแบน (เช่น แผ่นกระดาษ, แผ่นเหล็ก, แผ่นแก้ว)
shift: a change in something - การเปลี่ยน
split: to divide; break apart - แตกแยก
steadily: gradually and in an even and regular way - อย่างต่อเนื่อง, อย่างแน่วแน่
step up: to increase - เพิ่ม
stiff: strong - แข็งแรง,รุนแรง
subsidise: to pay part of the costs of something - ให้ความช่วยเหลือด้านการเงิน
subsidy: an amount of money that a government or organisation pays to help to reduce the cost of a product or service - เงินชดเชยที่รัฐเป็นผู้จ่ายให้
traditional: things (buildings, clothes, music, customs, etc.) that have been part of a country or society for a long time - แบบดั้งเดิม, เป็นประเพณี
transfer: moving someone or something from one place, vehicle, person or group to another - การย้าย
upgrade: to make a piece of machinery, computer system, etc. more powerful and efficient - ยกระดับ
variety: a type of a thing, for example a plant or language, that is different from the others in the same general group - ประเภท ชนิด หรือลักษณะ