BAAC clarifies rice farmers’ fund

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BANGKOK, 3 March 2014  The establishment of the rice farmers’ fund is legal as it does not violate the BAAC royal decree, said the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC). 

BAAC President, Luck Wajananawat, has reaffirmed that the purpose of the fund is to lend financial aids to rice farmers currently affected by the rice pledging program payment delay, reiterating that the fund is within the boundary of the BAAC royal decree, given it is a short-term fund which only serves as an alternative for the farmers while they are waiting for the government to come up with the payment.

The fund builds upon the foundation of the people’s generosity, said Mr. Luck, adding that such a move has been done before when farmers were facing difficulty brought on by natural disasters and unfavorable economic situations. The BAAC President also pointed out that the fund’s value of 20 billion baht was merely 20% of the total amount of what the government owed to the farmers, thus it was virtually risk-free.

Mr. Luck also claimed that the rice farmers’ fund is a good way to reduce household debts, to stimulate the public spending and to prevent the economic hiccups. /