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Thailand's rice industry at turning-point moment

Staff writer |
Thailand's rice industry must negotiate several risk factors that are pressuring farmers to speed up the development of rice breeds to strengthen the sector, the Thai government says.

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Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister General Chatchai Sarikalya said the industry was at a turning-point moment in terms of growing firmly and sustainably.

Speaking at a rice conference in Bangkok, he said the industry was facing rapid changes and tougher competition, especially as a result of the economic integration of Asian and non-Asian countries as well as the diversity of consumer tastes.

He added that value-added innovation and climate changes were also factors that would help push for solidity and opportunity for the sector.

Chatchai said a SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity and threat) analysis of the industry found that it was still strong, as the country had a variety of rice breeds. He said this created flexibility for the country to improve breeds in line with changed farming areas and to serve market needs.

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