Rice race

I got an email from my Thai import-export friend last night. "One million tons of high quality Thai rice is going to China," he wrote.

"A new piece of information that I believe you are interested in," the letter said, "on November 25, 2019, our Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives submitted a second list of exporters. Thai rice to China. And the Chinese government promised to complete the registration process to import Thai rice as soon as possible. "

He continued, rice exports from Thailand have become popular in China. The Thai government has previously submitted the first batch to the Chinese General Department of Customs for consideration based on its product quality and safety standards. And 49 large and small Thai exporters have been approved. The fact that China is considering this second round of Thai rice imports is a positive sign, which could pave the way for the next one million tons of high quality rice, bringing in an estimated 27 billion baht to Thailand.

More importantly, the Chinese Customs also promised to make new agreements that would further benefit agricultural products of both countries as soon as possible. Both sides agree that after rice will be fruits, frozen pork, live cattle and bird's nests. The two sides also discussed the possibility of exporting fruits through a checkpoint right on the newly opened Dong Hung border. This border gate will help Thai exporters conveniently transport their products by road. This checkpoint is located only 150 meters from Mong Cai Agricultural Products Market in Vietnam.

My friend said that as export increases, the threat of quality and certification of wrong standards also increases, the expansion of Blockchain technology applications will help parties be assured of the authenticity of the supply chain.

Reading your letter, I realized that the new wind of border trade between China and Thailand has just been established, or re-established, but is completely different from the way Vietnam is doing at two points. Firstly, the exported products must be organic or high-quality, with application of technology to ensure. Secondly, the Thai government itself is directly promoting trade relations, inspecting and committing to product quality and also directly supporting all procedures for businesses.

From this "hot" information, I searched for relevant information on a Thai digital magazine. The Office of Strategy and Trade Policy of Thailand declares that it will use Blockchain technology to trace its production origins into the export of agricultural products, starting with organic rice, then, if successful. public, will expand to other agricultural products.

"Thailand uses Blockchain technology to track organic rice" is a project that will start in mid-2020 to create confidence for importers.

The office also said it is speeding up discussions with relevant experts, agencies and financial institutions to accelerate development of the Blockchain system. They also talked to farmers and invited about 5,000 rice farmers from Surin province to participate in this project.

Blockchain, with its superiority, will be able to track the process from farming, including cameras installed on rice fields to check from where it is grown, always verifying whether the rice is actually organic or not. The entire production and packaging process is also closely monitored to help buyers check the origin of organic rice. If they find out that the rice is not "organic", they can refuse.

According to the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, the Blockchain project is implemented "at a more important time than ever before." This system will help create confidence in Thai organic rice, reduce buyers' rejection, reduce product mixing, increase bargaining power and add value to the product, as well as create muscle. Meeting to expand export market.

In short, despite being temporarily 1-0 lead by the Vietnamese team in the "World's Best Rice Contest" recently when we won the first prize with ST25 of the famous breeder Ho Quang Cua, Thailand still firmly on Rice racing track.

Thai solutions: boosting the export of organic rice, applying technology to ensure reliability in traceability, keeping the quality of the product. More importantly, the Thai government is still striving to promote the export of high-quality agricultural products to the organic as the huge Chinese market now only prioritizes importing high quality, stable agricultural products and ensuring traceability. .

What about us? The results of rice exports for many years were not optimistic and suffered a severe decline in 2018, signaling the end of the competition style with output and "low prices". The "World's Best Rice Prize" should be considered an awakening bell for the Ministry of Agriculture to redirect the national rice strategy to the world's trend of rice consumption: quality, safety, traceability. . The road will be extremely difficult but there is no retreat.

Vu Kim Hanh