Sale of rotten rice to go ahead on December 1 despite protest

Economy November 24, 2015 01:00

By PETCHANET PRATRUANGKRAI
THE N

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THE Commerce Ministry will open bidding for 37,412 tonnes of rotten rice on December 1, despite opposition from rice quality surveyors who called for the suspension of the auction as they believe the rice could be sold for human consumption rather than fo



Representatives of the Thai Agricultural Surveyors Association marched to the ministry yesterday to express their concerns that the government would sell this rice too cheaply. The rice surveyors said some of it was of high enough quality to be sold for human consumption, but the government has insisted that most was not fit for consumption.
Duangporn Rodphaya, director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, said the government would proceed with the auction as rice from the stockpile had been checked by the military’s ruling National Council for Peace and Order, the government rice inspection committee and private enterprises.
“It has been proved that this rice stock is not suitable for consumption. 
“Some rice may be in good condition but it has mixed with rotten rice, and the government would need to spend more [time] managing this rice stock if it does not release it for industrial use. Thus the government will go ahead and open this lot of rice for industrial supply,” Duangporn said.
She added that rice surveyor companies had also taken part in the rice inspection. If they wanted to oppose the auction, they should have done so earlier.
Duangporn added that those rice surveyor companies would face legal action by the government as they were contributed to poor oversight of the rice stocks that caused the rotting.
However, Montatip Vaiyawanna, president of the Thai Agricultural Surveyors Association, said rice surveyors had not taken part in the government’s rice inspection. She insisted that some of the rice from this lot could be sold for human consumption or feedmeal production, bringing in more money for the government.
More than 170 industrial enterprises attended a session yesterday explaining the regulations and conditions for joining the bid on December 1.