The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has asked for cooperation from vendors of agricultural factors to provide discounts to rice farmers, in an attempt to help the latter cut cost by at least 500 baht per rai. The measure has been devised to replace the now-abolished rice pledging program.
The decision was reached during yesterday’s meeting of the NCPO, the Thai Rice Millers Association, the Thai Rice Exporters Association, the Thai Rice Farmers Association, related government units, and the Committee on formulation of measures to boost rice production and marketing.
NCPO Deputy Head for Economic Affairs and chairman of the afore-mentioned committee, General Chatchai Sarigalya, said the meeting concluded that private operators would all join the mission to reduce rice production cost by at least 500 baht per rai. Currently farmers are spending approximately 4,000 baht per rai in their operation. To achieve the goal, vendors of fertilizers, pesticides, seeds, farming equipment and land owners have agreed to give discounts to rice farmers. At the same time, the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives would provide low interest loans to rice farmers and would soon issue additional measures to take care of paddy prices.
Chairman of the Thai Rice Farmers Association, Wichian Puanglamjiak, meanwhile, requested that the cost-cutting measures should be separated for farmers in irrigated areas and non-irrigated areas. He said farmers in non-irrigated zone usually have higher operating cost and, therefore, should not share the same benefit as the other group.
Mr. Wichian also stated that the NCPO’s commitment to guarantee prices of paddy at 8,000-9,000 baht per ton is acceptable to farmers for the moment.