Sacred Oxes predicts plentiful harvest, bountiful trade

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Two sacred, royal oxen predicted plentiful rain and a good harvest, according to a traditional ceremony conducted in Bangkok on Friday.

The Royal Ploughing Ceremony, which is traditionally held at the onset of the wet season and was used to predict farming conditions for the growing year, boost farmers’ morale and signal the start of the rice-growing season.

The ceremony was presided over by the King on Friday and it took place at Sanam Luang in front of the Grand Palace.

The ceremony consists of many rituals.

The two main rituals were a ploughing ceremony by two sacred oxen and the drawing of cloth to predict the amount of rainfall in the year.

Luckily for farmers this year, the oxen choose water, grass, peanuts and alcohol out of seven offerings signifying that there will be enough water for farming and trading will be prosperous this year.

For the drawing of a piece of cloth, the Lord of the Royal Ploughing Ceremony (this year was Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Thongplew Kongjun) selected a short piece of cloth which signified that there will be a lot rain this year.

The amount of rain means farming on highlands will provide a good yield while farming on the lowlands will be affected by the high amount of rain and provide less yield.

Thailand exported six million tons of rice in 2021. The National Rice Policy Committee said in April that they expected Thailand’s rice production to increase by 540,000 tons from 41.2 million ton in 2021 and they also predict that rice export will exceed seven million tons in 2022. The export prediction is based on weakening baht and rising global demand.  

The Thai Rice Exporters Association said in April that Thailand’s rice export expand by 28 per cent to 1.1 million tons in the first two months of 2022.

The group said they are now considering increasing its export target from seven to eight million tons this year. They said the war in Ukraine is also contributing to the rising global demand for rice because of concern over food security.

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