Soaring food prices and recent jumps in the price of rice -- a critical food in the developing world -- have impacted communities and aid organizations across the globe. Independent Television News reports on the increased price of rice.
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INIGO GILMORE, ITN Correspondent:
They're taking no chances with this year's harvest on the farms in Supamburri (ph). Alongside the heavy machinery, there's a new feature: shotguns. The message is clear: Hands off my rice.
This is the heart of Thailand's rice-growing region, and there's great anticipation around this season's crop harvest. With many countries facing shortages, this rice has never been more prized.
So prized, in fact, that for the first time this area has seen significant and organized thefts of the crop by outside gangs. That's why local farmers are keeping a close watch on this harvest.
JAMLONG SUPAT, Thai Farmer (through translator):
We've been farming here since the time of my ancestors, and nothing like this had ever happened. We never had to guard the land, but after the price of rice suddenly shot up, these rice thefts started happening.
The price of rice has exploded in Thailand, with the standard export rice shooting up 52 percent in just the past month, a windfall for some, but a worry for many.
VICHAI SRIPRASERT, President, Riceland International:
This is like a tsunami to the rice industry. It come big, big waves. But actually you could observe it over the years, and you could see something was developing. But most people just did not pay attention to it.