Thailand’s farmers finally getting paid for their rice harvest


A Thai government-run bank is actively helping free rice growers from their debts as ordered by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

As the accelerated payment for pledged rice under the NCPO order continues into its fourth day today, the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) paid over Bt19 billion so far and farmers are receiving their money nationwide.

The management of the BAAC in Uttaradit’s provincial seat asked police and soldiers to facilitate traffic and ensure safety at the bank and in its vicinity as farmers from many districts of the province are flocking to the bank to receive their long-awaited money.

The branch has disbursed more than Bt400 million to local rice growers.

The huge presence of farmers is also happening at the BAAC branch in Ban Thi district of Lamphun today.

Since Monday, the BAAC has paid about Bt19.2 billion to 185,381 farmers who participated in the past government’s rice-pledging scheme for the 2013/2014 rice crop.

The Government Pawnshop in the Buri Ram provincial seat is also congested with farmers who are redeeming their valuables. It serves about 100 clients per day and traffic is expected to rise next week. Redemptions outnumber borrowing by 80 per cent for the time being.

Gen Chatchai Sarikalya, deputy economic chief of the NCPO, met top officers of the Ministry of Commerce today to lay down economic stimulation policies and follow up other important work, including assistance for rice growers.

They also discussed low rice prices and suspended attempts to sell government rice pending rice stock examination and clear guidelines from the NCPO.