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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Harvesting Rice Isaan style 2011

I read that more than half of Thailand' rice production is in Isaan. How much of that is underwater? How much of that will be able to be harvested?
Driving kilometer after kilometer through the area some of the crop sits on ground far enough away from the swollen rivers and will easily be harvested
November and December are also the start of harvest period where farmers and friends help each other harvest rice crops,  and start their storage of food for the coming year.
How many families will lose their land? Rice farmers, you might know, are not wealthy people. We are coming into the time of year, when with luck, they can get out of debt for a bit, any maybe buy some of the necessities for the coming year. This year I fear many will not have that luxury.
People in Isaan do not generally harvest their rice by this method. I have seen some years when the fields are too wet and the rice has to be harvested by hand, hard backbreaking work, that weeks whole villages in the fields from daybreak to sunset.
While last year in June the floowing was being read "The world’s largest rice exporter, Thailand, is facing major losses to its next crop of rice and a water crisis because of the worst drought in nearly two decades." This year the story will read quite the opposite, but the question is Why?
Will answers be found? Will people be held responsible? Are these all simply rhetorical ????s