The El Nino phenomenon, a climatic event that has far-reaching consequences, is now starting to impact various countries, causing notable crop damage and leading to significant concerns in the agricultural sector. As this phenomenon continues to unfold, countries around the world are witnessing the effects on their vital crops. In India, the agricultural sector has already taken a hit, prompting the government to take decisive action by imposing a ban on rice exports since July 20. This move has raised eyebrows and caught the attention of other rice-exporting nations, including Thailand.
Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce is closely monitoring the unfolding global rice situation, recognizing the potential implications for their own rice exports. With the government of India limiting its rice exports, Thailand is poised to seize an opportunity to cater to the global demand. Ministry officials are optimistic that the country will surpass its initial target of exporting 8 million tonnes of rice this year.
To ensure a well-coordinated response, the Ministry of Commerce Permanent Secretary, Keerati Rushchano, has issued directives for all relevant commerce ministry agencies to diligently track the rice situation. These agencies include the Department of Foreign Trade, the Department of Internal Trade, Thai Trade Promotion offices abroad, and commercial attaches. With the focus on countries involved in rice production, export, or import, these agencies will gather and assess crucial information on rice exports by major producers and countries’ demand for rice. Additionally, they will closely monitor rice prices in Thailand and other nations and evaluate the current stockpile of rice within Thailand. The diligent assessments will provide valuable insights into the evolving global rice market trends within 1-2 weeks.
Despite the challenges posed by the El Nino phenomenon, Keerati Rushchano remains confident that Thailand will not encounter a rice shortage. As a country with a substantial rice surplus that is actively exported, Thailand is in a favorable position to address the heightened global demand. Furthermore, the ban on Indian rice exports is anticipated to create a lucrative opportunity for Thai rice exporters, potentially surpassing the export target set for 2023. This positive development would also bode well for local paddy farmers as domestic prices are expected to improve.
Keerati further revealed that the El Nino phenomenon is projected to persist for 1-3 years, significantly affecting Thailand’s rice production levels. Recognizing the potential risks, the commerce ministry has proactively engaged in discussions with the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives to devise comprehensive plans to mitigate the expected drop in production. By adopting proactive measures and working in unison, the government aims to safeguard the nation’s rice production and minimize the impacts of the ongoing climatic event.
As the world keeps a watchful eye on the unfolding El Nino phenomenon and its implications on global agriculture, Thailand remains resolute in its efforts to navigate these challenging times. With strategic planning, proactive measures, and a commitment to supporting the welfare of its citizens, the nation is determined to sustain its position as a key player in the global rice market and uphold its reputation as a reliable rice exporter.