Situation now

Situation now.
Rice is a staple food for more than half of the global population. And even though the rice farmers are indispensable for such an essential food item, they are the ones who are being exploited by the way the market currently operates.

There are so many middlemen between the farmer and the consumer, and all wanting to maximize their profits, that the consumer has to pay top dollar and the farmer receives a fraction of that price. It can even be worse. Sometimes, while you are enjoying your plate of rice, the farmer has not even been paid yet for the same rice.

Not too long ago Oxfam issued a report ( about this inequality and one of the shocking conclusions is that rice farmers only receive between 4% and 14% of the retail price the consumers pay; while plenty consumers complain about the high prices for rice.

Currently, market power lies with the middlemen and not with the rice farmer and consumer, the first and last of the product chain. These middlemen account for the majority of the Profit; this is not something recent but it’s the age old way business has been conducted. This is why the Dutch East-India Company could grow to the size it did.

Rice Farmers Non Payment Image

Because rice farmers are often paid too little and too late they can’t enjoy the fruits of their hard labour, let alone taking care of their families. To make matters worse, they have to invest in a new crop while oftentimes the old crop hasn’t even been paid yet. To invest in a new crop they have to take out loans at commercial interest rates en sometimes this isn’t even possible because they don’t own the land they are working on. And we’re not even talking about money for investments in innovation and sustainability or a buffer to offset the effects of natural disasters (certainly in the light of climate change we all have to deal with).

This next video will show you how much work an average farmer has to get done before the rice can be harvested and processed:

Check out how we want to change this system by clicking here.