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Home>FFTC Document Database>Annual Reports>FFTC 2018 ANNUAL REPORT>Project 2: Promoting rice farmer’s market through value-adding activities

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Seminars and workshops

Project 2: Promoting rice farmer’s market through value-adding activities

Location: Faculty of Economics, Kasetsart University, Thailand
Date: June 5-9
Participating countries: 11 (Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam)
Papers presented: 14
Co-organizers: Faculty of Economics, Kasetsart University, Thailand / Agriculture Economics of Thailand under Royal Patronage / Thailand Research Fund

Asian rice farmers, in whose hands lay the fate of the region’s staple crop are currently facing a lot of hurdles. The price of rice fluctuates especially during natural disasters. Policy interventions also affect their source of livelihood. In order to enhance their income and economic stability and to minimize the effects of market responses to price volatility, rice production has to meet market demand. Information on consumers’ preferences, specifications of rice standards and quality certification such as sustainability of production and geographical indication are becoming more dynamic, and needed to be updated and disseminated. This also includes the linkages of rice farmers to various markets.

Those are just some of the reasons why FFTC, together with the Faculty of Economics, Kasetsart University, Thailand, the Agriculture Economics Society of Thailand under Royal Patronage and the Thailand Research Fund organized an international seminar on “Promoting Rice Farmers’ Market through Value-adding Activities.” This was held on June 6-7, 2018 at the Faculty of Economics, Kasetsart University, Thailand.

The seminar aims to present and discuss rice production, rice standards and specifications, consumer preferences and marketing situations and market linkages in various Asian countries. Likewise, the seminar also aims to bring together key researchers on value adding activities and learn from each other’s experiences.

Fourteen speakers from 11 countries (Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam) and 20 local participants attended the two-day seminar. It was composed of four sessions: 1) rice policies; 2) rice value chain and institutional aspects; 3) trends in rice market, demand and standards; and value-adding activities for rice products.

Some of the issues raised during the question and answer portion of the speaker presentations include: the keys to the success of the rice industry in many countries which are irrigation system and non-photoperiod sensitive rice varieties; In countries like India, the major problems in rice production include the declining number of farmers, too low market price and high labor costs; Japan and Korea experience similar problems in rice production resulting from aging farmers. Market price of rice and farm income is too low to encourage young people to become farmers. The policy options should aim at cost reduction and boost not only farm income but also non-farm income. Modernization of production techniques and marketing should be introduced; etc.

On the third day of the international seminar, the speakers and some selected faculty members and students of the Faculty of Economics, Kasetsart University went on an educational trip to Ayutthaya to visit the Khao C.P. Co. Ltd., one of the biggest rice processing plants in the world. The VP of the company, Mr. Thammavit Srikrekkit, made a company briefing and toured the whole group to the high-tech and world-class facilities of the said rice processing company. The operations range from the selection of rice varieties, production process, quality control, to strict inspection. As all processes are traceable, the products are high quality consistent to world standards. The company has a strict quality assurance system to ensure that their products meet international standards like GMP, HACCP, and ISO 9001: 2008 standards. The company processes 66 million tons of rice per year. They have also built nearby water transport dock, directly connected to the factory. 

Major findings and recommendations

1. Strengthen R&D programs in rice production particularly the development of irrigation systems and non-photoperiod sensitive rice varieties;
2. Conduct more studies on consumer behavior, changing habits and lifestyles in order to improve strategies in rice marketing;
3. Design marketing strategies to promote value-added products for rice;
4. Convince farmer cooperative members to invest in farm machines and emphasize that in the long run, using machines in rice production is more cost efficient;
5. Utilize existing farmers’ cooperatives and community enterprises to upgrade higher standards in rice production and marketing;
6. Strengthen linkages between farmers’ cooperatives and other players in the value chain including R&D labs, universities, government and the private sector;
7. Develop tie-ups with research institutions like IRRI and the academe;
8. Involve housewives in rice production and marketing activities;
9. Document best practices in rice production and marketing in different countries and disseminate this in proper media forms; and
10. Hold and organize seminars and/or workshops in order to educate farmers on the importance of agricultural policies and its role in the rice industry. 

List of papers

1. Thailand’s rice industry and current policies towards high value rice products - Apichart Pongsrihadulchai
2. Evaluation of policy and business performance of rice production and marketing zones in Taiwan - Min-Hsien Yang
3. Rice farming in Japan’s matured market: overcoming the shrinking domestic demand by value-adding and export-enhancing strategies - Katsumi Arahata
4. The value chain and rice price policy in Indonesia- Muhammad Firdaus
5. Value chain and cooperatives in rice production in large scale rice fields - Hoang Vu Quang
6. Economic potentials of rice industry in India: opportunities and challenges - Aldas Janaiah
7. Bank for agriculture and agricultural cooperatives’ rice value chain - Surasak Sompadung
8. Gastronomic system of rice consumption for urban Filipino consumers - Rosa Paula Cuevas
9. Overview of the Cambodian rice market: challenges and the way forward- Heng Sola
10. Consumer preferences on specialty rice in Malaysia- Rosnani Binti Harun
11. Promoting rice value-addition through inclusive business model - Tanapat Sangaroon
12. Rice breeding and mechanization for value addition in laos PDR - Phetmanyseng Xangsayasane
13. Learning alliance: opportunities to move together to larger rice markets - Reianne Quilloy
14. Myanmar rice industry and policies towards value addition and export promotion - Theingi Myint

Fourteen speakers from 11 countries come to Thailand to attend the international seminar on “Promoting Rice Farmer’s Market through Value-adding Activities.” FFTC and the Faculty of Economics, Kasetsart University, the Agriculture Economics Society of Thailand under Royal Patronage and the Thailand Research Fund gather rice experts and economists to discuss the various issues regarding rice marketing and the importance of value-adding activities.

The VIPs during the seminar opening ceremony: (From L to R) Associate Professor Dr. Vijitsri Sanguanwongse, Dean, Faculty of Economics, KU; FFTC Director Dr. Kuo-Ching Lin; Dr. Chongrak Wachrinrat, Acting President, KU; and Dr. Siree Chaiseri, Vice President for Research, KU.

Group photo of seminar participants during the educational trip to C.P. company in Ayutthaya, Thailand, one of the biggest and most high-tech rice processing plants in the world.