Govt rice purchases favour richer farmers

Poor farmers only getting 1/5th of the govt subsidies/handouts & rich land owners just raise rent for 60% of farmers who do not own land.



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Economics

Rice scheme seen playing favourites

Pledging rewards big farms, economist says
13/11/2012
Parista Yuthamanop

Experts have yet again voiced concerns about the government's resolute intention to continue the costly paddy pledging programme, saying it will ruin the position of Thai rice in the world market, open the sector to corruption and undermine fiscal discipline.

....apart from obvious losses due to the gap between the market price of rice and the pledging price, the scheme favours medium-sized and large rice farmers and millers over poor farmers...

....the data shows less than one-fifth [of the money being paid out in the program] going to low-income farmers, with middle-income farmers receiving two times the compensation of poor farmers.

...the pledging scheme also raises the question of whether stocks have been released to favour any particular group, as domestic rice prices have remained low despite the state's large stockpile.

...the high pledging price has caused consumers abroad to drop their loyalty to Thai rice. Rice exports fell 44% in the first nine months of the year. Local exporters are losing customers, though they still lead the world in terms of value.

...another concern is that the pledging programme is an incentive for farmers to use pesticides and chemical fertilisers to quickly produce large quantities to pledge, instead of improving quality.

Thai rice has [also] lost competitiveness in terms of [exports to] regional countries.

...problems faced by Thai farmers in general include high indebtedness and increasing production costs.

The pledging programme has caused landlords to increase rental fees for farmers and fertiliser agents to raise prices. A dwindling number of farmers own land, with more than 60% needing to rent to grow crops.

Each farm household is estimated to be 500,000 baht in debt...

"The scheme fails to resolve two key problems farmers face: land ownership and high indebtedness"...

(Source: Bangkok Post, Economics, Rice scheme seen playing favourites, Pledging rewards big farms, economist says, 13/11/2012, Parista Yuthamanop, link)


Rice Industry Vocabulary

scheme - a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people แผนการ โครงการ
rice scheme - the government rice program that pays farmers above market prices for their rice 

poor farmers
low-income farmers - Same as "poor farmers"
income - money that people receive from work or some other source, used for household consumption and savings
middle-income farmers - not rich, not poor
medium-sized farmers

large rice farmers

millers - factories that turn rice into a food product that can be sold in stores

favours
- helps some people more than other people
the scheme favours medium-sized and large rice farmers and millers over poor farmers...

favourite - someone who is helped more than others
playing favourites - helping some people more than other people 
rice scheme seen playing favourites

paddy
- rice after it has been harvested from the field  ข้าวเปลือก
paddy pledging programme

pledging - when farmers had over their rice to the government to get above market prices for the rice
pledging rewards big farms, economist says

voiced - said what you think about a particular subject, especially to espress a doubt, complaint, etc. that you have about it แสดงความคิดเห็น
concerns - worries ความกังวล
voiced concerns - to say that you are concerned about something

yet again - happened another time (has happened before in the past)
Experts have yet again voiced concerns

resolute - determined แน่วแน่
intention - a plan in your mind to do something in the future ความตั้งใจ เจตนา แผนการ
resolute intention - when you are very determined to do something (and nothing will change your mind about it)

the government's resolute intention to continue the costly paddy pledging programme

position -
how well Thailand does compared to other countries (example: 1st, 2nd or 3rd in exports)
the programme will ruin the position of Thai rice in the world market

sector - a part of the economy ภาคเศรษฐกิจของประเทศ (public sector = government, private sector = all businesses, household sector = families and consumers, banking sector,...) (See Wikipedia)

corruption - (See Wikipedia on bribery and political corruption)
the programme will open the sector to corruption

fiscal - related to government spending; connected with the government budget, i.e., public money เกี่ยวกับงบประมาณ
discipline - following rules and standards of behaviour, forcing others to follow these rules ปฏิบัติตามระเบียบข้อบังคับ
fiscal discipline - controlling and being careful about how the government spends money (not taking lots of loans difficult to pay back)

undermine - weaken, make less effective, confident, or successful ทำให้อ่อนลง,ทำลายทีละน้อย,ทำลายอย่างลับ  ทำให้กร่อน
the programme will undermine fiscal discipline

obvious - easy to see and understand ชัดเจน
obvious losses

gap - the distance or difference between two things ช่องว่าง
the gap between the market price of rice and the pledging price

data - facts or information used for making calculations or decisions ข้อมูล
....the data shows less than one-fifth [of the money being paid out in the program] going to low-income farmers

compensation - money that someone receives because something bad has happened to them เงินชดเชย การจ่า่ยเงินชดเชย
middle-income farmers receiving two times the compensation of poor farmers.

stocks - large amounts stored for future use
released - made available to the public
stocks released - when stored things such as rice are sold to the public for use

favour - to give an advantage to someone or something, often in an unfair way ช่วยเหลือ สิ่งที่ทำให้เป็นพิเศษด้วยความชื่นชม
raises the question of whether stocks have been released to favour any particular group

domestic
- within the country ภายในประเทศ
domestic rice prices

stockpile - store large amounts of something for future use จำนวนสินค้าที่เก็บตุนไว้เป็นจำนวนมาก
the state's large stockpile of rice

domestic rice prices have remained low despite the state's large stockpile

loyalty - support that you always give to someone or something because of your feelings of duty and love towards them ความจงรักภักดี
brand loyalty - the support that people give to a particular brand of product by continuing to buy it rather than changing to other brands (See Wikipedia)
drop loyalty - stop being loyal (not buying the product anymore)

consumers - people who buy things (individuals and families)
consumers drop loyalty to Thai rice

...the high pledging price has caused consumers abroad to drop their loyalty to Thai rice

value - quantity produced times price, the amount of money the good is sold for, not just the amount (units, kilos) of the good sold
in terms of - as measured by
lead the world in terms of value.

Local exporters are losing customers, though they still lead the world in terms of value.

concern - a worry ความกังวล
incentive - a reward to make people do something สิ่งกระตุ้น

pesticides - chemicals that kill the insects (pests) that can kill plants
fertilisers - chcmicals or natural substances that help plants grow, food for plants (See Wikipedia)
chemical fertilisers

pledge - to make a serious promise to do something สัญญา
pledge rice - give rice to the government and get the high government price for the rice in exchange

...another concern is that the pledging programme is an incentive for farmers to use pesticides and chemical fertilisers to quickly produce large quantities to pledge, instead of improving quality.

competitiveness - how well a business can do compared to other firms (does it have lower price or higher quality?) การแข่งขัน
Thai rice has [also] lost competitiveness in terms of [exports to] regional countries.

indebtedness - owe money to people, must pay back money to people
...problems faced by Thai farmers in general include high indebtedness and increasing production costs.

landlords - the owners of land or real estate

rent (verb) - to pay money for the use of something for a period of time เช่า
rental (adjective)
needing to rent to grow crops

fees - money that you pay to be allowed to do something ค่าธรรมเนียม
rental fees - money paid for renting something

fertiliser - food for plants, chemicals to make plants grow faster สิ่งกระตุ้น  (See Wikipedia)
fertiliser agents - companies that sell fertiliser as a business

landlords increase rental fees for farmers and fertiliser agents to raise prices

dwindling - decreasing number
a dwindling number of farmers own land


dwindling number of farmers own land, with more than 60% needing to rent to grow crops.

debt - an amount of money that you owe หนี้
in debt - the situation of owing money to other people

household - a group of people, often a family, who live together ครัวเรือน
farm household

each farm household is estimated to be 500,000 baht in debt

key - important คนสำคัญ
key problems - important problems

resolve - find a solution to and solve a problem, difficulty, or argument หาทางแก้ปัญหา แก้ไขปัญหา
fails to resolve two key problems

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Writer: Jon Fernquest
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