Illustrative image (Source: Bangkok Post)
 
 
Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand’s government has planned to cut rice production, particularly for the second crop, to encourage farmers to grow other plants as part of its agriculture reform programme.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the Thai government aims to cut rice production to 27.2 million tonnes from an average of 33 million tonnes per year in 2017. The rice plantation area will also shrink to 60.6 million rai (96,960 sq.m) from the current 68 million rai (108,800 sq.m).

In addition, about 12 percent of the current total rice farmland will be used for growing such crops as soy beans, green beans and organic vegetables as well as for breeding livestock using innovative technology. The reduction will be on a voluntary basis and should take in 20 years. 

Tanit Anakewit, deputy permanent secretary to the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry, said farming in inappropriate locations produced low-quality rice, especially during the second crop.

The government is also urging farmers to grow coloured and organic rice that can fetch higher prices and faces less competition. 

The strategy was made in the context that global rice demand is decreasing while demand for vegetables and fruits is on the rise.

Global rice yield is expected to increase by 2.4 percent to 484 million tonnes in the season 2016-2017, up from 472 million tonnes of the 2015-2016 crop.-VNA