A rice warehouse in Bangkok (Source: bangkokpost.com)

Bangkok (VNA) - Thailand was the world's rice top exporter in the January to March period with 2.78 million tonnes shipped abroad, earning 44.09 billion THB, up 3.1 percent in volume and 9.5 percent in value year-on-year, according to the Thai Rice Exporters Association.

It was followed by India with 2.59 million tonnes (down 20.8 percent) and Pakistan with 1.2 million tonnes (up 38.9 percent).

The association reported rice shipments dropped 9 percent in March to 864,938 tonnes, worth 13.78 billion THB, down 7.6 percent from the same month last year. The drop was largely due to lower purchase orders on relatively high rice prices.

The National Rice Policy Committee of Thailand, chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, has recently approved a mechanism to build rice barns in a bid to stabilise rice price and facilitate rice export.

Under the scheme, credit worth about 1.67 billion THB (55 million USD) will be allocated to support farmers and agricultural institutes to build rice barns to store rice, delaying sales to stabilise the price.

It targets 10,000 borrowers, while the government will help subsidise three percent of the annual interest rate.-VNA