23 May 2024

The Thai military is willing to purchase decade-old rice from the rice pledging scheme, if it is tested for suitability for human consumption, said Defence Minister Sutin Klungsang today.

The rice would be for consumption by military personnel, he said, adding “The military is happy to support the government by buying the rice, as it would generate income for the country.”

Sutin was referring to the controversial rice on which Deputy Prime Minister Phumtham Wechayachai conducted a taste test and claimed was still good for consumption.

The rice, stored in 150,000 sacks in a warehouse for the past ten years and fumigated every two months, was washed fifteen times before being cooked.

Despite Phumtham’s claims, many people doubt its quality after ten years, as it has changed from white to yellow, and is full of weevils.

Regarding the quality, Sutin said that Phumtham’s claims after tasting could be considered a “guarantee” to some extent, adding “but if we want to have more assurance, it would be okay to conduct more tests on the quality.”

In the past, the military has purchased crops when prices were down.