International Rice Research Institute
Los Baños, Philippines
On 9 February Bangkok Post reported that about B2bn is allocated to compensate farmers hit by the losses caused by BPH. The report is below and also available in http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/economics/32588/state-to-pledge-b2bn-for-brown-planthopper-relief
This is about US$ 60.4 million based on today’s conversion rate of 1USD=33.1 baht. In the last 6 months, the government has already spent on launching control campaigns (~ US$1.5 million) and providing free pesticides (~US$16 million).
Actual production loss due to BPH is hard to estimate as data is not available, but based on the recent revision of the 2010 season rice output from 8.3m to 7m tons, the loss in exports might be about 1.3 m tons paddy or 0.65 m tons rice. Using a conservative price of rice of about US$ 500/ton, this loss may be more than US$ 325 million. So the BPH outbreaks that started in July 2009 and continued to spread might have caused a total loss of US$ 400 million will be my guess. This does not include indirect costs, like environmental pollution from the increased insecticide inputs and farmers’ health, as there are reports of increased pesticide poisoning in the rural areas. In addition, the social cost as many farmers are in debt because pesticides had been bought on credit and with the loss in production, many are unable to repay loans taken out. BPH outbreaks are preventable as they arise because unsustainable practices that lead to ecosystem breakdowns. Restoring the ecosystem services in rice environments should be the main focus to achieve sustainable pest management and avoid incurring such huge losses. Check:
Business » Economics
State to pledge B2bn for brown planthopper relief
- Published: 9/02/2010 at 12:00 AM
- Newspaper section: Business
// Two billion baht has been allocated to compensate farmers hit by losses from an infestation of insects known as planthoppers in the North and Northeast.
The compensation budget and other measures to combat the infestation are scheduled to be tabled for cabinet approval at today’s meeting, said Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.
But the premier suggested the best solution to combat the insect infestation is to stop growing rice temporarily.
Insect infestation and reduced water supplies in key rice regions has recently prompted the Office of Agricultural Economics to cut its second-crop harvest forecast by nearly 16%.
Thailand may now only produce about 7 million tonnes of paddy from its second crop, rather than 8.3 million forecast earlier, according to the Office of Agricultural Economics.
The overall 2009-10 crop would then total 29 million tonnes of paddy – down from the previous forecast of 31 million and also less than last year’s crop of 31.4 million tonnes – which could add upward pressure on prices.
An infestation of brown planthoppers across about 1.1 million rai destroyed some crops and cut yields, according to the latest Rice Department report.
About 780,000 rai of crops were lost completely and the rest were 30% damaged, said deputy director-general Chairit Damrongkiat. That means a loss of 355,000 tonnes, based on an average yield of 400 kilogrammes per rai.
The hoppers spread from the North to the central provinces, the so-called rice bowl of Thailand.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation said in its latest forecast that world rice imports in 2010 could rise to 30.5 million tonnes, up from 30.3 million in 2009.
Import demand is mostly seen as rising in Asian countries, several of which would need to compensate for poor 2009 harvests.