Thailand’s rice strategy to focus on yield, variety hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: Bangkok Post)
Bangkok (VNA) - The Thai government wants to raise the average yield of domestic paddy production to 600 kilogrammes per rai (0.16ha) by 2024 and focus more on premium-grade grains.

Speaking on August 27 after a meeting of the working panel on rice strategy, Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said higher spending on R&D for rice seeds and variety are desperately needed to raise rice yields to 600kg per rai, the Bangkok Post newspaper reported.

Thailand allocates only 200 million THB a year to R&D on rice seed development, considerably lower than Vietnam, which splurges up to 100 million USD on its rice seed and variety development.

According to the Thai Rice Exporters Association, the world is estimated to produce a total of 500 million tonnes of milled rice in the 2020-21 season, up from 497 million tonnes in the 2018-19 season, with an average yield of 736kg per rai, a gain from 730kg the previous season.

Thailand is projected to produce 20 million tonnes of milled rice in the 2020-21 season with an average yield of only 450kg per rai.

Thailand's productivity is much lower than other rice-producing countries such as Vietnam (934kg per rai), Indonesia (765kg per rai), India (643kg per rai), China (1,128kg per rai) and the US (1,363kg per rai). It is even lower than neighbouring countries: Myanmar (461kg per rai), Laos (518kg per rai), Cambodia (462kg per rai) and Malaysia (642kg per rai).

Jurin said the strategic plan should upgrade the country's logistics efficiency to reduce export costs and competitiveness in the world market.

On the domestic front, the strategy needs to strike a balance between domestic consumption and production as well as water supply development./.