Rice as a staple food for so many countries and cultivated in so many areas in the world. On the one hand, there are so many trace elements in it, for example, the protein, lysine, amino acid and so on, on the other hand, due to the sufficient sunshine and rainfall, rice has the excellent taste, becoming one of the most popular food in so many countries. Rice is mainly grown in Southeast Asia area, In Southeast Asia area, Rice has become an indispensable part of the economic development of Southeast Asian countries, so many countries in Southeast Asia are not only the world’s major rice producers as well as the main rice exporter. In the previous article, I have analyzed the rice market in Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, about the rice market and Import and Export situation. Someone may wonder that in addition to the countries I have mentioned above, are there other countries that are both major rice-producing countries and the world’s leading rice exporters? Yes, that is, Thailand and Myanmar. So, let’s take a look at the status of rice in these two countries.

The role of rice in Thailand and Myanmar

Rice, is not only has been sustained food in Thailand but also has been in close contact with their lifestyles for more than 5,000 years. It serves people as the main food for the whole country and plays an important role in national history, culture, society, and the economy of Thailand. As the Thai government said: “Growing rice has been the way of life of Thai farmers since ancient times. Their lifestyle is sifted, molded, and forged in the cradle of a rice civilization, to give rise to exquisite cultural traditions and customs between man and to an immense diversity in its genetic strands”.

Rice is the center of Thai society is also reflected in his cultivated area. Of the cultivation land utilized by farmers, rice takes up more land than other food crops, making up about 11.3 percent of the entire area of the country.

rice production distribution in Thailand

Rice Production Distribution in Thailand
As the chart showed, from The Central Plains and the Northeast possess larger areas of rice cultivation land, followed by the North and South respectively. Each region grows different types of rice, depending on its geographical conditions. The role of rice in Myanmar. Rice is the staple food of Myanmar and plays a vital role in the agricultural export sector. Myanmar’s rice was mostly exported to Bangladesh, the Philippines, ASEAN, and African markets. The market then extended to Russian and Middle Eastern markets. High-quality and reasonable prices have helped Myanmar’s rice exports to all over the world.

rice product in Myanmar

rice export and import
Rice production in Myanmar                     
Though the development of the non-agricultural sector in recent years has greatly reduced agriculture as the gross domestic product (GDP) and the relative importance of export earnings, agriculture remains an important economic activity in rural Myanmar.

Activities to Improve Rice Production and to Narrow Yield Gaps

The Thailand government has taken effective measures to increase rice production.

The Thai government had strong incentives to increase rice production and they were successful in most of their plans. The government invested in irrigation, infrastructure, and other pro-rice projects. The World Bank also provided financing for dams, canals, locks, ditches, and other infrastructure in the Greater Chao Phraya Project.

In addition, as the continuous raising production of rice in Thailand, the demanding for the post-harvest technological equipment also increased, some large-scale rice processing equipment, for instance, rice husking machine, rice polishing equipment, and rice packing machine gradually become an important part of in the whole rice production process. Some of this high-tech equipment, like paddy de-cleaner and Electric Flat Die Wood Pellet Machine, can make full use of rice waste(rice straw, rice husks, rice bran and etc.), which is not only the recycle use for paddy waste but also protect the environment.

Year Production
2010 34,409.00
2011 36,128.37
2012 38,000.19
2013 36,762.28
2014 32,620.16

Rice Production in Thailand

Year Production
2010 21,421.41
2011 22,950.80
2012 24,097.62
2013 24,991.76
2014 24,053.75

Milled Rice Production in Thailand

Thailand’s rice production is growing year-on-year thanks to the support provided by the local government. Although Thailand’s rice growth rate is not particularly significant in recent years, the annual growth trend is obvious. In Myanmar, in order to keep rice production in continuous growth, Myanmar government also made a series of measures:
To emphasize production and utilization of high yielding and good quality seeds
To conduct training and education activities for farmers and extension staff to provide advanced agricultural techniques
To implement research and development activities for sustainable agricultural development
To encourage transformation from conventional to mechanized agriculture, production of crops appropriated with climate and extension of irrigated area
To amend existing agricultural laws and regulations in line with the current situation.
rice plant
Although the government has taken a lot of measures in favor of local agricultural development, there are still some challenges and problems that Thailand and Burma have to face in agriculture development: First, paddy fields are shrinking due to increasing population and some economic factors, such as industrialization, urbanization, and crop diversification. Second, the high efficiency of large-scale processing equipment is proportional to their price, which small farmers can not afford it. In addition, the deterioration of the soil environment, soil acid, and alkaline imbalance is the main reason for the reduction of rice production. Therefore, how wisely solve these problems to increase rice production, is the key issue that both the Thai environment and its people so as to Myanmar should be considered in the future days.