NAKHON SI THAMMARAT, 16 September 2014 - The National Farmers Council has made known that it is prepared to set up Thailand’s first major rubber processing plant in Nakhon Si Thammarat.

The plant is estimated to cost up to 50 million baht in construction. So far, farmer unions have rallied up to 10 million baht in fund and plan to borrow the remaining sum from the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC). The plant is set to be opened in late 2015.

The council and the BAAC together plan to open 9 processing plants across Thailand in a bid to allow farmers to sell their products directly to the market without the middleman.

The move is part of the government’s measures to reverse the fall of rubber prices which in the past have sparked protests and hardship among the country’s growers.

BANGKOK, 16 September 2014 - More restaurants in the capital have expressed their interest in joining the campaign to provide inexpensive meals and drinks to Bangkok residents.

The campaign which is a joint collaboration between the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and the Ministry of Commerce has already attracted over 1,000 restaurants and food shop owners.

The ministry has been supplying vendors with cooking material at discounted prices in a bid to assist participating restaurants. Vendors have provided meals priced within the range of 25-35 baht. The campaign is to help ease the pressure of the ever-increasing living expenses of residents in Bangkok.

The ministry has instructed food shops to maintain proper food standard and the BMA is also urged to further publicize the project on more media platforms.

The project is set to eventually expand throughout the capital and reach distant provinces.

BANGKOK, 16 September 2014 – The Ministry of Commerce has promised to mark the issues of cost of living, the management of rice stock, exports and border trade as matters to be addressed urgently.

Commerce Minister Sommai Phasi on Monday briefed ministry officials on his policy, which places emphasis on the country's economic foundation. The public must have access to precise information about the state's policy, he stressed. Each department under the ministry has also been assigned to establish a plan of operation and to clearly set the time frame for each affair.

The commerce minister also told ministry officials he will work to push this year's economic expansion to two percent.

Deputy Commerce Minister Chatchai Sarikanlaya also briefed Commerce officials of his policy, which involved synergy of work and lending support to the government's various policies. He also marked several issues as needing to be urgently tackled. These included the management of the existing 15-18 million tons of rice within the government's stockpile, the oversight on cost of living, exports and the augmentation of Thai entrepreneurs' capacity to compete. On the issue of cost of living, the deputy minister disclosed that sellers may be asked to keep item prices unchanged for a period. On the issue of exports, greater emphasis will be placed on border trade and more benefits will be sought from free trade agreements.

BANGKOK, 15 September 2014- The Ministry of Commerce has confirmed Thai rice exports to Africa have not been affected by the Ebola outbreak in the continent. 

BANGKOK, 16 September 2014 – The train service in the Deep South has resumed normal operation following completion of repairs to the rail tracks in Narathiwat that were recently damaged by an explosion.

The train service from Hat Yai in Songkhla to Su-ngai Ko-lok in Narathiwat resumed on Monday following the completion of repairs prompted by Friday's blast on the rail tracks in Ra-ngae district, Narathiwat. Masses of people flocked to utilize the train service on the first day of resumption; many said that they welcomed the resumption of service because alternative modes of travel, such as buses, were more expensive.

In Yala, many passengers were seen boarding the day's first train to Su-ngai Ko-lok. Most of the passengers were those who needed to go to work in Su-ngai Ko-lok district. Police and railway security volunteers were also seen boarding the train.

BANGKOK, 14 September 2014  - The Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) is expediting the “Blue Line” electric train project from Tha Phra – Phutthamonthon Sai 4. The project’s auctions are expected to begin in 2016. 

YALA, 15 September 2014 - People flocked to Yala train station this morning as it is now back in service after a 3-day closure due to a terrorist attack on the train tracks. 

PHICHIT, 15 September 2014  - The Social Development and Human Security Minister has ordered related agencies to follow up on the flood situation in Phichit province. 

BANGKOK, 15 September 2014 – Throngs of loyal subjects lined the street to greet Their Majesties the King and Queen as they traveled from Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok to Klai Kangwon Palace in Prachuap Khiri Khan province today. 

SONGKHLA, 15 September 2014  - The Meteorological Department is forecasting that from today until Thursday (15-18 September) a rather strong southwest monsoon will move across the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand with increasing precipitation, resulting in likely scattered to fairly widespread thundershowers all over the country, as well as isolated heavy to very heavy rain in the East and the Southwest coast region of the country. 

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