The government's programme to buy rice from farmers is a political dream and a practical, economic nightmare. Paying premium, fixed prices for paddy seemed like a good idea at the time. But the Pheu Thai government now is stuck with a serious problem. It can't get rid of the rice purchase project, or even change it significantly, because the farmers will revolt.
It can't get rid of the purchased rice in the normal way, without sticking taxpayers with a huge bill.
Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom has finally said what everyone knew he would have to say. The government will sell millions of tonnes of rice from over-stuffed warehouses, and the public will take the losses.
This article is older than 60 days, which we reserve for our premium members only.You can subscribe to our premium member subscription, here.