Agriculture Ministry yet to okay drought-hit farmers’ compensation plea

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BANGKOK, 19 June 2015 -The Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives says the government has yet to consider approving an assistance package for drought-hit farmers, pending an initial survey of affected-farming areas the country.

In response to some farmers’ pleas for compensation of 3,000 baht per rai, Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Pitipong Pungbun na Ayutthaya said the government saw no need to issue measures to help farmers at the moment, following the ministry’s call for a delay in the annual rice farming until late July.

The call for the postponement of seasonal rice farming applies to 22 provinces along the Chao Phraya River as part of the government’s water management plan in face of the drought crisis.

Mr. Pitipong explained the ministry had yet to receive a report on farmers who were truly affected by the postponement of seasonal farming, adding that late July was still within the farming season. However, the minister disclosed that he had ordered officials to survey seasonal rice farming areas across the country to assess the severity of the drought crisis.