Chonburi rubber farms look to other crops

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Eastern Seaboard rubber farmers have applied for 3.7 million baht in loans to help them begin planting a different, more-profitable crop.

Farmers met at the Chonburi Agricultural Office Jan. 22 to review the requirements and application procedures for the loans from the Bank of Bank of Agriculture and Agriculture Cooperatives. The BAAC announced in late October it would offer low-interest loans to help retrain rubber farmers to grow alternate crops, as rubber prices have fallen so far, many farmers can no longer make a livable wage.

Pichet Chaipanit, director of the Chachoengsao Rubber Research Center, said up to 500 farmers nationwide will be considered for the loans.Pichet Chaipanit, director of the Chachoengsao Rubber Research Center, said up to 500 farmers nationwide will be considered for the loans.

Pichet Chaipanit, director of the Chachoengsao Rubber Research Center, said a single farmer in Sriracha District, 14 in Nongyai and 24 in Bothong have applied for the 100,000-baht loans. Up to 500 farmers nationwide will be considered for the loans.

To be considered, the farmer must be registered with the government, and present production and agricultural business plans.

Five farmers have chosen to grow mushrooms. Six chose pineapple, four picked papaya, two selected palms while others chose mixed agriculture, marigolds and chickens. Another wants to process coconut husks.