Farmers blame graft for rice shambles

Corruption is a major cause cited by farmers when asked what they think has left the government unable to pay for their pledged rice, according to a poll conducted by the National Institution of Development Administration (Nida).

 Nida Poll interviewed 1,250 rice farmers of various levels of education in all regions on Feb 10-11, during the ongoing protests by growers demanding the government pay for rice harvests they delivered and pledged months ago.

Asked what they think has caused the government to be unable to pay the debt, 31.13% of the respondents pointed to corruption in the rice-pledging process; 18.42% to the government's losses incurred from the rice trade; 18.42% to the government's inability to sell the rice, causing lack of liquidity; 15.03% blamed it on the government being in a caretaking position, making it unable to acquire loans from financial institutions; 12.89% pointed to other causes including the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) protests; and 4.16% has no comment.

To the question who should be held responsible, 35.92% of the respondents pointed to the prime minister, 32.33% to the cabinet, 16.58% to the commerce minister, 9.85% to the PDRC, and 3.50% to the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC), while the rest had no comment.

Asked what they think the government should do, 36.72% said it should quickly sell off the pledged rice, 28.88% suggested it seek loans to get money to pay the farmers, 22.64% said it should resign to allow a new administration to solve the problem, 3.60% suggested it return the pledged rice to the farmers, 4.08% said it should solve the problem of protesters obstructing its work, and 4.08% gave no comment.

When asked to comment on the rice-pledging scheme, 43.04% said it should be scrapped, 34.40% said it should continue but the price of pledged rice should be in line with the world market prices, 18.24% said it should continue as it is now, 1.12% said it should continue but in the form of price insurance, and 3.20% had no comment.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 12/02/2014 at 05:00 PM
Rest assured he will be covered - as always - whoever else, including clones. fall by the wayside.
Discussion 2 : 12/02/2014 at 03:15 PM
In total, 85 percent blame the PM and her cabinet and ministers. The people are not stupid, I must say.
Discussion 3 : 12/02/2014 at 03:06 PM
Significant that 22.64% said the Govt. should resign to allow a new administration to solve the problem. Since farmers were among the major supporters of the Thaksin/Yingluck regime, it would be reasonable to think that a sizeable number of those would have voted against the Govt., if there had been any Opposition worthy of the name. The Democrats clearly missed a big chance to actually win an election, but alas, they bottled it. In a democracy, an effective Opposition is necessary to hold the Govt. to account. This is what Thailand really lacks...Suthep has lost the plot...
Discussion 4 : 12/02/2014 at 02:32 PM
"34.40% said it should continue but the price of pledged rice should be in line with the world market prices" Which is the same as saying it should be scrapped, so almost 80% want it scrapped, remarkable.
Discussion 5 : 12/02/2014 at 02:22 PM
A few people should eat their hat (I for one have leant that way at times..): those farmers aren't buffaloes, they're not stupid, they can see that all the money is gone and more importantly, that they didn't get their fair share of it. Credit where credit is due.
Discussion 6 : 12/02/2014 at 01:32 PM
And 0% blames Thaksin, the mastermind who invented this scam. Is he some sort of Voldemort, the one you can not speak of?
Discussion 7 : 12/02/2014 at 01:22 PM
Wow that is shocking news, corruption the cause of the rice scam, I thought it was the anti government protestors fault.

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