BAAC announces readiness to assist farmers

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BANGKOK, June 25 – The government’s reduction of the pledging price of paddy by Bt3,000 per tonne will have a negative impact on 200,000 farmers nationwide, according to the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC).

Boonthai Kaewkhuntee, BAAC deputy manager, said the bank has prepared relief measures for farmers including allocating Bt10 billion for additional loans to distressed farmers, reducing interest for loans by 3 per cent and an additional Bt50,000 for each credit card granted to farmers, interest free.

He said the BAAC will also pay half of the fee charged from farmers for selling their agricultural produce under the price guarantee plan.

Mr Boonthai said the BAAC will seek a subsidy from the government for some of the measures while the bank will bear the cost for some others.

The BAAC is ready to go ahead with all the measures if the government’s announcement of the new pledging price of paddy at Bt12,000 per tonne is enforced, he said.

Despite widespread protests by farmers, the government insisted that the pledging price of paddy will be reduced from Bt15,000 per tonne to Bt12,000 per tonne, beginning Saturday.