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Thailand to Install Database to Track Rice Subsidy Scheme
Source: futuregov.asia
Source Date: Monday, September 16, 2013
Focus: ICT for MDGs
Country: Thailand
Created: Sep 18, 2013

Thailand’s National Rice Policy Committee has approved the implementation of a web-based database to manage the corruption-plagued nationwide rice price scheme. A budget of THB 200 million (US$ 6.3 million) has been set for the purchasing of infrastructure to be installed at implementing agencies across the country.

 

The rice pledging scheme was implemented to benefit rice farmers in Thailand through a boost in the price of rice. Under this scheme, the Government has implemented a policy to buy rice from farmers at generous prices and store the rice in warehouses.

 

Cutting supply from one of the largest rice exporters, the move was to have raised the global price of rice, allowing the Government to sell rice at a premium in the world market. The scheme, however, exposes large amounts of rice stored in warehouses across the country to the risk of contamination and illegal diversion.

 

Commerce Minister, Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisarn, hopes that this online system will help “prevent corruption in the rice pledging scheme through effective tracking of the rice, and timely and effective data processing and reporting”.

 

The database will be supported by 200 computers which will link the relevant agencies to the online database. The connected agencies will then be able to verify documents, and access information on volume of rice in the national stockpiles, locations of rice warehouses and volume of rice released to the market.

 

The Public Warehouse Organisation was chosen to be the hub of data and information. Other organisations which will be linked to the database are Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, Marketing Organisation of Farmers, Agricultural Futures Exchange of Thailand, Commerce Ministry, Finance Ministry and Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry.

 

The installation of the system is expected to be completed in the next two months.

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