Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 1st National Rice Research Conference, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva stressed that the rice production has always been high on the agenda of the Government, as the area of rice field covers over 60 million rai, involving 3 million farmers, making Thailand the number one exporter of rice in the world. His government has recently revised the policy and strategies regarding rice production, opting to provide insurance protection to rice farmer, instead of price intervention. The Government would also speed up the establishment of the Farmers Welfare Fund to promote the farming occupation and provide job security for rice farmers, regarded as the backbone of the country. Prime Minister Abhisit re-affirmed to the scientific audiences that the success of Thai rice would require integrated and independent approach in conducting research and development.
The 3-day conference consisted of keynote lectures and scientific presentations covering the topics such as rice biodiversity and germplasm, rice breeding, rice processing, post-harvest technology, nutrition, value-added products of rice. On display at the event were rice farming machinery, new rice varieties and innovative rice products.
Organizing partners of this Conference are Kasetsart University, Office of Vocational Education Commission, Rice Department, Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Co-operatives, National Research Council of Thailand, Agricultural Research Development Agency (Public Organization), Thailand Research Fund and NSTDA, with the Thai Rice Foundation under Royal Patronage taking the lead. The event is expected to be held biennially. The next Conference in 2012 will be hosted by NSTDA.
Posted on 17 December 2010.