Media War

exposing media bias in Thailand

No “rice money” for any foreigners !

we’re trying to follow the Thai  rice money saga because it is closely related to the politics in this country, since agri products bring the most revenues and according to the principle “follow the money” that is where the main root of all the political restling are.

today there is an article on Bkk Post titled:  Govt: Foreigners can’t farm here

The Ministry of Commerce says the law is quite clear — foreign developers cannot invest in the country’s agricultural sector, especially the farm sector.

Department of Business Development director-general Kanissorn Navanugraha was respondng on Monday to reports the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) had expressed an interest in raising livestock and growing rice in Thailand.

He said the Alien Business Act B.E. 2542 (1999) forbids foreigners from owning businesses relating to farming and raising livestock.

The GCC consists of Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should understand the law, Mr Kanissorn said.

The Department of Business Development was not aware of any foreigners trying to invest in the farming sector, he said.

Foreigners could also hold no more than 49 per cent of the shares in agricultural firms.

He said there were more than 60,000 joint ventures in the country and 1,500 of them were associated with land dealings. None of them were related to agriculture.

well, I guess that answers pretty much the question about the possibility of “Contract farming” which has been already  proposed previously as  one of possible solution of how to actually help farmers to get out of poverty:  basically through enabling farmers to sell their produce DIRECTLY to the foreign buyers, skipping all the  “blood suckers”  (as middlemen, brokers, exporters etc).  somehow I am not surprised at all by such a strong answer from the Establishment, because obsiously the whole current ROTTEN and corrupted system  is too much dependent on all those “blood suckers“, and any attempts to even cut their profits  will cause practically instant consiquences for the  politicians and MPs.

so, farmers will continue to struggle for existence because of the system which favors the “blood suckers“, and therefore social divide will not be narrowed but rather widened, and accordingly  the MAJORITY of Thai people (who are mostly farmers and poor workers who are anyway villagers who come to cities to try find some work, after loosing land of failing to make it on their farms)  wil continue to  try  change something through their protests.

but I doubt it very much that  any serious change in the whole system will happen any time soon.


June 22, 2009 - Posted by | "Rice money", Anti-establishment | , , , ,


  1. a new development in Rice money” saga :

    Rice exporters chastise PM

    Disgruntled exporters on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of avoiding a decision on contentious deals for 2.6 million tonnes of rice.

    They said the premier dodged a meeting with exporters who had sought explanations about why an earlier bid was scrapped and how the government should handle 124,000 tonnes of rice already paid for by winning exporters…

    it seems like Abhisit is getting fire from all directions an angles now. rice exporters are a force to reckon with!

    Comment by antipadshist | June 30, 2009 | Reply

  2. Local product prices to rise 3-7 per cent

    The prices of domestic products are expected to rise between 3 and 8 per cent next year in line with the expected higher prices of imported raw materials, according to the Internal Trade Department…

    Prices of chemical fertiliser and car batteries are expected to surge 5 per cent and 3 per cent respectively.

    The forecast is in response to the expected price hike of between 10 per cent and 15 per cent of imported raw materials next year.

    The department also forecast that oil prices next year would hover at US$65-$70 per barrel, while the foreign exchange rate would linger at Bt34-Bt35 per US dollar…

    actually I observe prices for ordinary food products rising consistently – practically every few weeks.

    Comment by antipadshist | June 28, 2009 | Reply

  3. Farmers need real support

    … For decades successive governments have introduced a few measures, often alternating between mortgage schemes and price intervention schemes, to help farmers earn better prices for their crops when market prices dropped substantially due to oversupply.

    But the sad truth is that with or without government intervention, and whether market prices are attractive or not, those who stand to reap the biggest benefits from farming are the middlemen and exporters, whereas the unfortunate farmers remain perennially poor and increasingly in debt.

    Despite allegations of massive corruption in the rice mortgage scheme which will cost taxpayers an estimated 20 billion baht in losses under the scheme implemented last year, the Democrat-led government has decided to give the same programme another try this year. Four million tonnes of the second-crop harvest are to be bought through the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives with a hefty fund of 110 billion baht.

    The mortgage prices range from 10,800 to 12,000 baht per tonne for grain with humidity not exceeding 15%, compared to last year’s average price of 14,000 baht per tonne.

    As has always been the case, it is doubtful that farmers will be better off this year than they were in previous years. Worse still, the farmers themselves are so disorganised. They don’t have real leadership or a unified body which could truly represent them, speak on their behalf or protect their interests.

    Ensuring better prices for their crops should not be the only means to help impoverished farmers. Much more needs to be done to improve their livelihood and to uplift their social status if their services are really valued and appreciated.

    Comment by antipadshist | June 25, 2009 | Reply

  4. Veera from Bkk Post apparently joins the chorus with Yoon, although talking about “neo-colonial land grab”

    Why not a food for oil deal?

    Recent report about the Gulf Cooperation Council showing keen interest to invest in farming and livestock in Thailand has brought to mind the alleged “neo colonial” land grab by rich governments and multinational corporations for arable land in Africa in order to ensure their food and energy security…

    As far as Thailand is concerned, the question is whether the country needs foreign investments in farming and livestock industry to the point that large swathes of land are to be leased out to the foreign investors?

    Comment by antipadshist | June 25, 2009 | Reply

  5. ‘Worst over for economy but recovery not visible’

    comment on this article and idea of using currency reserves for stimulus by TC :

    The 122 billions USD question : should Thailand use its foreign currency reserves ?

    Comment by antipadshist | June 25, 2009 | Reply

  6. Yoon on his blog has already cried foul over the very idea of contract farming – even though it has been already firmly and outright rejected by gov. officials :

    If foreigners use “nominees” to buy Thai farmland (because they can’t do it legally themselves), Thai farmers will become just “employees” of foreign land-owners. The agriculture minister says he has heard rumours to that effect but can’t get it confirmed. But officials at his ministry have insisted that several foreign countries have approached Thai brokers and even the officials themselves to sound out the possibility of owning farmland and exporting agricultural products from Thailand from their own “production line” here.

    That’s a huge controversy that threatends to blow up if rice farming falls into the hands of non-Thais. It’s not only illegal. It’s going to be seen to be a new form of “economic invasion” of this country.

    wow! “economic invasion”, huh ? 😀

    perhaps Yoon needs to read a bit history – that it was actually due to foreigners about 100-150 years ago that Thailand’s peasant has turned from predominantly hunters/ gatherers into rice farmers, and coutry has started to become the agricultural powerhouse as it is now.

    somehow you would never hear from Yoon suhc words “economic invasion” in regard to Chaovarat’s Sino-Chinese company or Dhanin’s CP group, or Sondhi Lim who is the boss of Manager group, or all other ethnic chinese who practically control ALL whatever possible profitable businesses in this country.

    I guess that is because Yoon is himself one of them ? but hey – that’s not “economic invasion”, that’s I guess to name is correctly – “economic dominance”.

    but of course – if there are any problems in this country – blame those evil foreigners, never local guys ! 😉

    Comment by antipadshist | June 23, 2009 | Reply

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