Not facing famine! - translated and summarized from Thai Rath, April 17, 2008
Many countries - worldwide - have been facing the prospect of future famine, since the prices of food staples - and rice in particular - began to rise so rapidly a few months back. At the same time as these dramatic price increases, most people’s incomes have remained largely unchanged. The various causes of this global food crisis include higher fuel prices, global warming, lower agricultural production, a higher demand for food staples and the massive hoarding of some agricultural commodities. Rice prices have reached their highest levels in 20 years - while rice output is at its lowest level over the same period.
Past Thai governments have tried hard to increase rice prices to sensible levels - but now the current government has to face the consequences of extremely high prices for the commodity. It is important that the government now deals fairly and even-handedly with this country’s farmers, traders and exporters of rice. We Thais are unlikely to face the problem of famine, as we have always had enough rice for our own consumption and for export. The problem, for us all now, is how to manage the profits of our country’s agricultural production in a fair and efficient manner - for the benefit of all our citizens.
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