Developing Countries Will Lead Global Rice Import Growth in 2013-22, Says USDA Rice growers positive California MG prices are UP Russia MG Harvest coming to end Egypt open rice exports Vietnam’s rice export in tough competition with India Thai rice exports in May Rise Above Target This Year Viet-Nam Rice exports likely to fall this year
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Dumping hurts world's poorest rice farmers
The international trade in rice and other foods is rigged and millions of poor farmers are being squeezed out of business by rich countries dumping massively subsidized food, the aid agency Oxfam says in a report released today.

The situation for vulnerable farmers around the world is likely to worsen, Oxfam says, if the United States and Europe sell excess farm produce below cost in developing countries after winning greater access to those markets in the current round of world trade talks.

The United States is the world's third largest rice exporter, even though its production costs are twice as high as in the leading exporters, Thailand and Vietnam.

According to Oxfam, the United States spends $1.3-billion in subsidies to support a rice crop that costs $1.8-billion to grow.

This situation enables U.S. exporters to dump 4.7 metric tonnes of rice on world markets at 34 per cent below the cost of production, a move that hurts struggling farmers in countries such as Ghana, Haiti and Honduras.

"This is an example of rigged rules and double standards at their baldest," said Phil Bloomer, head of Oxfam's Make Trade Fair campaign.

"Rich countries are demanding that poor countries pull down their barriers to trade and, at the same time, they are continuing to subsidize massive overproduction and dumping. Their selfish motives couldn't be clearer."

Two billion people earn their livelihood from growing and processing rice, most of them small farmers in poor countries.

Oxfam says if state support was reduced and import tariffs cut sharply, low-cost imports would force local producers out of business. It cited the case of Haiti, where the government, responding to pressure from the International Monetary Fund, cut tariffs on rice imports in 1995 to 3 per cent from 35 per cent. This resulted in a 150-per-cent increase in imports.

Today, Oxfam says, three out of every four plates of rice eaten in Haiti comes from the United States.

"It has devastated farmers in Haiti where rice-growing areas now have some of the highest levels of malnutrition and poverty," the 68-page report says.
MGR Archive 12.4.2005
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