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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Residents troubled by black ash from burning sugarcane

    PHITSANULOK: Villagers in Wang Thong and Bang Krathum districts have complained that black soot and ash from burning sugarcane fields is raining down on their houses and everywhere else on a daily basis, making life miserable.


    One resident of Ban Noen Sa-at in Bang Krathum district of this lower northern province said burning-off by farmers has been non-stop recently. It was now time for them to harvest their cane in a rush to supply it to millers.


    The practice is illegal, but farmers argue that burning-off the trash, which includes the leaves, makes it easier to harvest the valuable sugar-rich stems for delivery to factories.

    The burning is usually done during the night to avoid being caught by authorities, but sometimes during the day as well.






    The fires send black soot and ashes high into the air, and they fall on residential areas nearby.

    Residents complain they have to clean the muck out of their houses and off the roads every day, and sometimes several times a day.


    One shop owner said he has to clean off the ashes with a hair drier.


    Angry householders said owners of the sugar mills should be held responsible for the damage and health hazards caused by burning-off, and the soot-and-ashes mess it causes.



    Residents troubled by black ash from burning sugarcane

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Every years the same. Black ash falling everywhere.


  3. #3
    Thailand Expat VocalNeal's Avatar
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    May we see pictures of cars covered in black snow? Nonsense!
    Better to think inside the pub, than outside the box?
    I apologize if any offence was caused. unless it was intended.
    You people, you think I know feck nothing; I tell you: I know feck all
    Those who cannot change their mind, cannot change anything.

  4. #4
    I am no longer a Hostage

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    Same in Khon Kaen, when I stayed there.


    I used to call it Hiima Dam (black snow)

    I see that another poster also found that to be the obvious term

  5. #5
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    Same in Loei.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VocalNeal View Post
    May we see pictures of cars covered in black snow? Nonsense!
    It isn't nonsense. Around where I live it falls like snow. I can understand why the growers burn it. Easy access for the cutters. Clears the field of unwanted pest such as snakes. Lack of cane harvesters. And last but not least the merchants give a better price for cleaned cane.

  7. #7
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    Angry householders said owners of the sugar mills should be held responsible for the damage and health hazards caused by burning-off, and the soot-and-ashes mess it causes.
    As opposed to the growers who are actually burning the stuff?

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by panama hat View Post
    As opposed to the growers who are actually burning the stuff?
    The growers are forced to burn off due to the above post #6. The merchants ARE the problem. The merchants don't want the trouble of cleaning the cane. A similar thing happens every year with the rice. A better price is given if it's dried first. Only way to do this is lay it out on the roads. Which then becomes an hazard.

  9. #9
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    Th stupidest, most irresponsible folk in the region and, typically, selfish greed is at the root as they take the inevitable shortcut to hasten a dividend regardless of the environmental damage and inconvenience to the rest of society. Indeed, another metaphor for the Thai, a people seemingly impervious to the concept of evaluating consequences and their impact if money is to be made.

  10. #10
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
    The growers are forced to burn off due to the above post #6. The merchants ARE the problem.
    I'd disagree. The growers get a better price by delivering 'clean' stalks, THAT is the reason they burn it off, but that is down to the growers' decisions.

    The mills still buy the product if it isn't 'clean', don't they? It's a typical easy solution and then shift the blame, it seems

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    ^
    Okay they're both to blame. How's that?

  12. #12
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
    ^
    Okay they're both to blame. How's that?

    Agreed!

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Only 3 more years to go.

    The Ministry of Industry is proposing to the Thai Cabinet a plan to end sugarcane farmers’ annual burn-off of their plantations before harvesting. The practice is being largely blamed for the north’s smog problems.
    But they are recommending a three year moratorium before completely stamping out the annual agri-burning.

    Thai PBS reports that the plan will be incorporated into a ministerial regulation to be enforceable during the 2019-20 sugarcane crop year and seeks to force sugar mills to accept only 30% of burned sugarcane for milling, with a further reduction to 20% for the 2020-21 crop year and to no more than five percent for the third crop year.
    The plan doesn’t address how there can be any improvement in the north’s smoke problems for the next three seasons.
    Thai sugarcane farmers prefer burning sugarcane to make it easier to cut and to save labour costs. However, the burned sugarcane is of lower quality and has reduced sweetness. Burning of sugarcane has also been blamed for creating smog in some provinces containing large sugarcane plantations, such as Khon Kaen in Thailand’s north-east.
    In order to encourage farmers to switch to the use of machinery, which is more costly, the Industry Ministry will also propose the provision of cheap loans to allow the purchase of new machinery. It is estimated this could amount to six billion baht over a three year period. Farmer’s cooperatives and community enterprises will be encouraged to invest in cane-cutting machinery to move over to more environmentally sustainable practices.
    The ministry also aims to make Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi, Chaiyaphum, Loei and Uttradit provinces free from sugarcane burning as of this year.
    Ministry works towards ending sugarcane burning in three years | The Thaiger

  14. #14
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    harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
    But they are recommending a three year moratorium before completely stamping out the annual agri-burning.
    It's called "kicking the can down the road".

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat Airportwo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by panama hat View Post
    I'd disagree. The growers get a better price by delivering 'clean' stalks, THAT is the reason they burn it off, but that is down to the growers' decisions.

    The mills still buy the product if it isn't 'clean', don't they? It's a typical easy solution and then shift the blame, it seems
    Thats how I understand it works, lower price for burnt, they were supposed to consider banning the factories from buying burnt cane, surprisingly it never happened!
    It's a pain, they have stopped a lot of the burning around where I am, not all, garden and pool can be full of the stuff at times!
    My FIL told the neighbour not to worry but he was going to burn the cane that night, neighbour called the Police, end result he didn't burn!
    PS They are no longer friends.

  16. #16
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airportwo View Post
    PS They are no longer friends.

  17. #17
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by panama hat View Post
    I'd disagree. The growers get a better price by delivering 'clean' stalks, THAT is the reason they burn it off, but that is down to the growers' decisions.

    The mills still buy the product if it isn't 'clean', don't they? It's a typical easy solution and then shift the blame, it seems
    Add: Mature sugarcane stalks are quite sinewy and take forever to decay/break down if sowed under after each cycle - and reputed not to have the nutritional value [for the soil] that other vegetable matter might procure.....especially as such applies to loamy rich soils.

    So....they burn. The world over, where cane is grown in abundance.
    The simpler solution and short lived.

    It is what it is.

  18. #18
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    ^ Impressive

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuangLao View Post
    So....they burn. The world over, where cane is grown in abundance.
    The simpler solution and short lived.
    Try convincing Australia.

  20. #20
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    Farang Ky Ay's Avatar
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    I don't know anything about growing/harvesting sugarcane, is burning the only solution to get clean sugarcane? My guess is it's cheaper to burn so screw the neighbors' health.

  21. #21
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farang Ky Ay View Post
    I don't know anything about growing/harvesting sugarcane, is burning the only solution to get clean sugarcane? My guess is it's cheaper to burn so screw the neighbors' health.

    Yet, only became an issue recently.
    For ages, it's been accepted - not always appreciated, but understood.

  22. #22
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farang Ky Ay View Post
    is burning the only solution to get clean sugarcane?
    They have cane harvesters but it's cheaper to burn off the unwanted stuff. A bit like the rice harvesters it would only be used for a few months of the year and not be used for the rest. There has to be a financial advantage to not burning. I believe the government is trying get people to compost the waste and be put back into the soil saving on fertilizer.

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat Airportwo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuangLao View Post
    Yet, only became an issue recently.
    For ages, it's been accepted - not always appreciated, but understood.
    There was no where near the amount of sugar cane being grown years back, the "government" paid farmers to switch over to Sugar cane 3 or 4 years ago, they don't like to mention that fact. My wife was a recipient as she has 17 Rai of former rice field now producing sugar cane.

  24. #24
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airportwo View Post
    There was no where near the amount of sugar cane being grown years back, the "government" paid farmers to switch over to Sugar cane 3 or 4 years ago, they don't like to mention that fact. My wife was a recipient as she has 17 Rai of former rice field now producing sugar cane.

    Actually, I believe these incentives go back [as applying to cane] more than a decade.
    Induced, only as it is beneficial to the govt/aggie mafias - certainly not to the respective farmers or whatever the market is willing to bear.

    Witnessed this forever, in one form or another - suggested or mandated agricultural/horticultural change over for the usual dodgy reasoning.
    Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

    Much too much government involvement in designing peoples lives.

  25. #25
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    A very good read on Thailands current problem regarding sugarcane. And it's not about the burning. SPECIAL REPORT: The bitter truth behind the sugarcane boom

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