This article was not just an excuse for some wordplay in the title, there is genuinely good news about Thailand’s rice harvest this year.
It appears that this year’s yield will be substantial even though forecasters opinions vary. Some are predicting even more yield than last year when the prediction at the start of the planting season was a decrease.
Having been out to the rice fields of Khon Kaen this week I can confirm all is looking good.
The cabinet of Thailand has approved a package worth 87.2 billion THB (2.6 billion USD) to support rice farmers and stabilise prices ahead of the 2017-2018 harvest, which starts in November.
The programme of the Thai Government, which will officially take effect on November 1, is hoped to assist 3.7 million farmers.
It also includes a loan of 33.5 billion THB from the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives for farmers to delay rice selling time.
So we have about two and half months until the familiar sights of the rice harvest in Isaan are upon us.
Whilst media commentary is all about yield, price and export we should not forget the villagers who feed themselves only, with the main crop being rice.
This is often supplemented with other crops such as sugar cane and various veg. Throw in a bit of protein from sustainable sources such as the ubiquitous ‘Gai Baan’ (loose translation; home chicken) plus some snacks such as grasshoppers and lizards and you have a bounty a fair way above subsistence.
Lets hope for a bumper crop all round, from Ubon, Surin, Buriam, Sissaket, Khon Kaen and the central and northern regions, for farmers with big and small plots.
Rice is big in Thailand – especially the short grained variety.