One of them, Witsanu Sukmoonsiri, plans to pay 20,620 baht ($574) for the January-April semester with rice from his family’s farm.
take advantage of=～をうまく利用する、～を生かす
in bid to=～しようとして、～することを目指して
You might wish to know a few facts about Thailand's rice production.
1. For at least 40 years, Thailand has been either the 1st or 2nd largest rice exporter in the world. In that time, Thailand's population has only grown from about 40 million to 68 million. In addition, its natural environment (water and fertile soil) results in at least two crops a year and sometimes three. Actually, this agricultural surplus in the Seventies and Eighties provided surplus capital for Thailand's economic growth. At hat time, Thailand was seen as a future Asian Tiger and a rapidly developing country. However,........
2. Three or four years ago, the government instituted a rice buying (subsidy) scheme for farmers before the election to get their votes. This system was very corrupt. Because the price was above market prices, Thai surplus rice was kept in large warehouses. Rice merchants were paid the subsidy price. Then, they sold the rice in neighboring countries at a higher price and replaced the warehoused rice with a lower quality rice even just bags of dirt.
3. The result was Thai rice was expensive on the world market, so Thailand lost market share to Vietnam, India, the Philippines, and maybe even China. For the first time, Thailand was not the 1st or 2nd largest exporter in the world. It was fourth or fifth. In addition, Thai rice now has a bad reputation and supply is seen as being unreliable, so old customers are not buying as much Thai rice even though its price has fallen.
4. The Thai economy has not grown for three years now, so domestic demand for rice has fallen. As a result, Thai farmers are growing less rice. Bad weather (not much rain) has also affected rice production.
This year the weather has improved and the Thai government subsidy is finally getting to the farmers. Therefore, rice production is up, but prices are weak because of consumer demand. As a result, the surpluses have grown. Also, the warehoused rice is beginning to rot, so the government is trying to put it on the market as quickly as possible, but the consumer is staying away because of the quality and anger over the rice scheme.
This is a long way of saying Thailand produces a large surplus of rice while the farmers face falling rices because of its favorable natural environment, the government's rice buying scheme, weak domestic demand, and lost market share in the international market.
AG Webは、これまで19人の学生が「授業料を米で支払う」制度を利用したと報じている。そのうちの1人であるWitsanu Sukmoonsiri氏は、1月～4月の学期の20,620バーツ（574ドル）を家族の農場の米で支払う予定だ。それによって、彼の家族は教育資金を融通するために高利貸しに行かずに済んだ。
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