Situation of Rice and Sugar Supply in Brunei

The 19th coup in Thailand's modern history does not seem to affect the financial market very much. I think the Baht went down by about 1%. Most of the finance people I talked to said that ever since the uncertainty of the current government, all the risk factors have already been factored in, so when the coup did come, it was more or less expected. So, why am I talking about Thailand's economy if it is more or less predicted?

A number of people who realised it is that our rice imports come from Thailand. Some called me up asking what is the rice situation. So I did a quick check on our rice supply. The answer was reassuring. We have apparently five months stock of rice in this country. So the Thais can still argue about their political future and we still would have plenty of rice in this country. We actually have a few more months on our storage in Thailand itself but that would depend on whether shipping is still going on. But the good thing about the Thais is that whether it is a military government or civilian government, business still goes on as usual.

At the same time, the government does allow local companies to import rice from other areas. That's why nowadays you can see California and Australian long grain rice being sold in Brunei other than the Basmati rice from Pakistan. A number of other rice exporting countries such as Vietnam, Myanmar and Australia are all set to step in with supplies of rice should Thailand failed to deliver. So again we do have enough rice coming in. So, you don't have to rush out to your nearest Indian shop to buy rice. There is enough rice in the country.

The other controlled item is sugar and unlike our neighbouring country which seemed to suffer a shortage of sugar, ours is in good supply and even drowning in it. According to the authorities, tomorrow a ship will come in with our sugar imports from Brazil (the first time I heard that we import our sugar from there), we will have a 12 month supply. So that's enough to give everyone diabetes should you really want to have that much sugar. So again, there is enough sugar in the country.

All these talks about possible shortages have led to one or two people thinking about how we should be 100% self reliant on food especially rice. I won't go into a debate about it here. I remembered posting about it sometime last May entitled "What do you Know about Rice in Brunei?" where I mentioned that even if you were to turn 100% of Brunei into rice plantation fields, we still won't be growing enough rice for everyone in the country. To add to that my guest blogger just a few days ago talked about the issues that we have to grapple with in order to have food security in Brunei. I won't beat the subject to death but you can reread the posts again.


Anonymous said…
My favourite rice is Beras Baro, a locally produced rice :) (i think it is local)

Much much healthier as it has less starch.

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