Farmer Rights Group sets paddy reference price at K750,000 per 100 baskets

A leading group for the protection of farmer rights and enhancement of their benefits announced a paddy reference price at K750,000 per 100 baskets (a basket is equivalent to 46 pounds) for monsoon paddy produced this year and summer paddy that will be produced in the summer next year on 10 October.

The reference price of paddy was set at K320,000-330,000 per 100 baskets (a basket is equivalent to 46 pounds) in the 2012-2013 financial years. The price doubled after a decade.

Myanmar Rice Federation has notified the reference prices of various monsoon paddy varieties produced in 2023, following the discussion with related institutions in the rice industry, according to a notification dated 19 September 2023. Yet, the MRF has not revealed the measurement for one basket.

The floor prices and the ceiling prices are set at K1.3-1.5 million per 100 baskets of monsoon low-grade paddy and K1.5 to 2 million per 100 baskets depending on producing areas.

At that time, the rice prices stood at K60,000-70,000 per sack for low-grade varieties and K100,000-125,000 per sack of Pawsan rice varieties.

Before the monsoon paddy harvest season, the market values of the paddy prices were K1.7-1.8 million per 100 baskets (50 pounds per basket) for low-grade paddy and K3.7 million per 100 baskets for high-grade Shwebo Pawsan paddy.

The market price of low-grade monsoon paddy was below K300,000 per 100 baskets in 2011. Under the rice reserve scheme of the State, the floor price of paddy (46 pounds per basket) was set at K330,000 for monsoon paddy and K320,000 for summer paddy, to raise the market value at the 2011 monsoon harvest season.

The rice prices moved in the range of K150,000-350,000 per sack, while the broken rice fetched K110,000 per sack back in 2012.

The current paddy reference price is lower than the rate notified on 19 September 2023.

The floor price of paddy price in the 2021-2022 FY hiked up the market value of the paddy for the interest of the farmers. The reference prices this year are drastically lower than the actual market rate. Thus, there is speculation that it was just a statement with no effect on the farmers. — TWA/EM