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.