Cash influx a band-aid for failing rice sector

As the government scrambles to buoy a rice sector suffering from crashing paddy prices and fierce international competition, Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 22 lauded the government officials and “generous businesspeople” who heeded calls for emergency funds. Falling from about $250 per ton in mid-August to $193 last week, the prices that millers were offering farmers for paddy briefly plunged the sector into disarray. But a potential financial calamity has been prevented, the premier announced on September 22. With a $27 million grant approved by Mr. Hun Sen to subsidize millers, allowing them to stabilize the price they pay for paddy, additional rice purchases this week by government officials and wealthy friends helped the sector stay operational, he said. “I’m truly thankful to the ministers, secretaries of state, civil servants and armed forces, as well as the generous business people who have helped purchase paddy,” Mr. Hun Sen said at a graduation ceremony in Phnom Penh on September 22.

Keep reading