AYUTTHAYA, 16 January 2014 Rice farmers in Ayutthaya province have submitted a letter to the government via the Department of Internal Trade (DIT), calling for the disbursement of money owed to them in the rice pledging program.
Led by the vice president of the Ayutthaya Provincial Farmers Council, a number of local rice farmers converged on a building in Bang Sai district which was being used as a temporary office of DIT officials who had relocated from Bangkok to avoid the mass protest. The group demanded prompt payment for over 400 farmers in the area who had pledged their paddy with the government in September 2013 and had yet to receive any money.
In Ayutthaya province alone, the overdue amount for the 2012/2103 crop year is said to be more than 87 million baht. Another 630 million baht is owed to participating farmers in the 2013/2014 crop year out of the pledge value of 1.57 billion baht.
Deputy Director-General of the DIT Nopporn Linthong received the group’s letter on behalf of the government. She informed the farmers to rest assured that they would receive the money despite some delay. She added that the DIT would convene with the National Rice Policy Committee and the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives on January 20 to find solutions to the problems at hand.