Floods have ruined 13 per cent of crop areas in Thailand, 12 per cent in Cambodia, 7.5 per cent in Laos and 6 percent in the Philippines, according to the FAO.
The glut in global exports of rice could now be wiped out, and speculators may now drive up rice prices.
See this Bloomberg report.
Where does that leave countries like Malaysia? Malaysia is only 70 per cent self-sufficient in rice, and the country imports 30 per cent of its rice requirements. In 2010, most of our rice imports came from Vietnam and Thailand (MalaysianRice website).
How will the privatised Bernas handle this? Will the government now have to put more money in to subsidise higher-priced rice imports?
See the importance of being self-sufficient in food? All this while, our politicians and mainstream economists focus on industrialisation, FDI, and GDP while they look down on the sustainable agriculture and farming sector. But at the end of the day, we can’t eat semi-conductor chips, can we?