Rubber growers ask NCPO for help


Rubber growers nationwide are planning to ask the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to help shore up rubber prices which have dropped sharply in the country, said Uthai Sornlaksap, chairman of the Thai Rubber Council.

Mr Uthai said Thursday that rubber representatives have compiled assistance measures and will submit their request to the NCPO on Friday, asking it to help rubber growers in the upstream, midstream and downstream processes to be able to raise prices in line with the market mechanism.

He said about six million growers are now suffering heavily losses after production costs have risen to as high as Bt65.25 per kilogramme while they could sell at only Bt61 a kilogramme.

Growers disagree on the government providing subsidy to help offset production costs because the subsidy does not reach every grower, he said.

In the upstream process, growers would request NCPO which staged the May 22 bloodless coup, for its help in lowering production costs such as locating financial institutions to provide low-interest loan to enable them to grow supplementary crops or raise animals to enable them to earn extra income, Mr Uthai said.

For midstream, the growers wanted to see that financial help be offered to rubber traders or cooperative operators so that they could invest in rubber processing and improve their product, he said.

Rubber growers also wanted promotion of domestic consumption in the downstream process and asked that NCPO should come up with a clear measure to use about 210,000 tonnes of rubber now in stock, said Mr Uthai.

The rubber in stock should not be dumped in the market because the state would lose about Bt10 billion and would eventually lower its prices further, he added.