Good Rice! Lousy Price!

Ricemill_011

The second half of our rice harvest has begun. We have one of the best rice crops in Cambodia, although it doesn’t look like it (see pictures). Everybody! All together now (including me :>), “It’s about time”! After three years of failure, that is more truth than ridicule. The problem is, that it is so good, and the weather so weird; the rains came late and the rice is so heavy it lodged into the water. It actually rained last night on the 5th of December! There is enough water for us to plant another crop on about 130 acres, and it looks good! But, harvesting the 330 acres we have left is a pain. We have to rake it off of the muddy ground with our combines, which makes progress very slow, about 25% of normal. I feel so sorry for the local farmers, most of them have nothing much to harvest, and the price is so low; they will lose money this year. Even though milled rice is around $550 per ton in Phnom Penh, the farmers are lucky to get $160 per ton for paddy rice. Even with a milling percentage of 65% and transportation deducted, with a huge profit in between, the farmers should be getting $270 per ton, but there is a rice consortium that controls the price, and you’d have as much luck dealing with the Mafia as with them. So, when the government finally gets that mess sorted out, we will shout; all together now, “It’s about time!”

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