Friday, May 2, 2008

Organization of Rice Exporting Countries

With the rising prices of staple food, rice exporting countries are now exploring all avenues on how to seize the opportunity that would be more beneficial on their part. Majority of these countries are members of the Asian’s developing region and are longing on how to maximize development and self-sufficiency.


Thailand together with Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia are organizing a form of alliance that will establish a policy of producing and exporting rice similar to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. With the progress and success being experienced by the oil exporting countries as OPEC, they have now the OREC, the Organization of Rice Exporting Countries. The policy that may be instituted by the rice producing countries may also be patterned with OPEC and they may also be right as rice has a domino effect not only in rice importing countries but all the food consuming populace of the world. They can capitalize on their harvest as a bargaining option to win some concessions and gain access to the world’s wealth. They are themselves the witness on how Opec countries developed to be among those of the richest of the world and now is the time to duplicate the skills which are the tried and proven ways to riches.


Countries that will be directly affected by the rice cartel are the third world countries which are the largest importer of rice like the Philippines. However, it may result otherwise or a short term effect. It may serves as a “wake-up call for the Philippines” as what Palawan Representative Abraham Mitra have said and published at the Manila Bulletin. These Orec countries obtained rice technology through the Philippines and it will not take too long she will be joining them. Or it will be a means for other agricultural nations to exert more effort in further developing their techniques for food sufficiency. In countries which can not support rice production, it would be a hell. More food riot and starvation will be aggravated. Poverty and unrest will worsen and other untold discomfort will be the direct result.


Whichever ways, the option of these Mekong River countries maybe counter-productive. Smaller member maybe required to produce less to support the pressure to be exerted on the food prices. It will exacerbate the rice shortage problem the world is experiencing today. Whoever thought of such strategy, it is meant to be a self-serving maneuvers and will defeat the world food programme’s objectives of adequate food supply.

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