Friday, October 23, 2009

I'm back in Thailand now

After one month away from home staying in England and Portugal with my parents, and after a total of 6 different flights to and from the three countries, I am now back in beautiful Thailand where it is still raining during parts of every day even though the rainy season ought to have been long finished by now.

It's been a bad year for our rice farming here, with not enough rain earlier in the year, then far too much recently, and now there are too many pests presumably due to the crazy weather. Oh dear. Climate change is all too real it seems.

All these problems have caused us to have very much lower rice crop yields than usual this year, and that has now also been compounded by a very low cash price for rice (currently 6,000 Thai Baht per tonne), which makes it almost a loss-making enterprise to grow the rice when taking into account the costs and effort invloved (such as ploughing, fertilising, sowing, irrigating, pest control, harvesting, etc). Not good. We're going to review our farming policy to see if it might be better for us to switch to growing a different crop in future. Many farmers here in Thailand are switching from rice to other crops for the same reasons.....

Consequently, I predict a world shortage of rice next year, which ironically will probably make it worthwhile us growing the crop again at that point given that the price should then rise. I can see a rather large flaw in the world's rice production system on this basis - Asian farmers won't grow rice unless they can make a profit from it, and they can only (it seems to me) make a profit from it when there isn't enough rice available to eat. Oops.

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