The Nation


Letters to the Editor

Rice scheme is making our neighbours richer

Re: "Burmese smugglers get rich on Yingluck Shinawatra's £13-billion Thai rice subsidies", The Telegraph (UK), February 4.

Thailand's rice-pledging scheme has made Myanmar businessmen richer, yet left a million Thai farmers still waiting for payment from the government for their grain.

According to The Telegraph, the government's crop-pledging scheme has made smuggling rice from the Myanmar town of Myawaddy into Thailand profitable on a par with guns, precious gems and even drugs.

The British newspaper reports that, in Myawaddy, 50 kilos of rice sells for the equivalent of £16 but in Thailand for £30 (Bt1,600).

As a result boatloads of rice disguised as chicken feed have been smuggled into Thailand nightly for more than two years, leaving the Myanmarese far better off than their Thai counterparts.

Vint Chavala


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