A new institute with Bt600 million in initial funding is being proposed and will go before the National Rice Policy Committee later this month. The proposal aims to start a business institute that will handle rice production management. The institute will have a primary focus on research and development (R&D).
Chutima Bunyapraphasara, Commerce permanent secretary, announced that the new institute will play a role in upgrading the country’s competitiveness to become a manufacturer and exporter of rice products.
The proposed institute will focus on research and development of value-added rice products that are in high demand in the global economy.
The private sector will benefit from the proposed committee and will be able to use the research available to increase sales. Previous research in the rice sector did not receive proper funding from the private sector and was shelved as a result.
Non-tariff barriers will be studied and proposed if the new institute is allowed to be formed. The proposal includes non-tariffs that should be placed against imported goods.
Thailand has been working diligently to offload a massive stockpile of rice. The government has held auctions for the rice with China previously under a government-to-government agreement to buy rice. The agreement with China has yet to be renewed and is unlikely to be renewed in the near future.
Thailand and China officials were slated to discuss the matter during a joint meeting that was postponed at the request of Chinese officials yesterday. The joint meeting has yet to be rescheduled. Thailand hopes China will purchase newly harvested grain from next season’s crop.