Bank of Agriculture launches lending package to help farmers in rice pledging scheme

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BANGKOK, 24 January 2014 The Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) has come up with measures to relieve the plight of farmers who have so far not been paid by the government for the rice pledged under the mortgage scheme.

According to the bank’s executive vice president Songserm Saksit, the board on Friday agreed to help those farmers struggling with their own debts, by extending higher amounts of loan, up to 80% worth of the face value of vouchers issued for the rice pledged, up from the 20% previously extended, as well as cutting loan rate from 7% to 3-5%.

The bank will earmark 40 billion baht for its new lending packages. Songserm said about 1.4 million farmers have not yet received their money from the government’s rice pledging scheme.

There are about 1.4 million farmers holding rice vouchers valued about 130 billion baht altogether at present, and over 100,000 farmers have been in arrears for their payments. To help the latter group, the bank will extend their loan repayment for another 6-12 months and waive the 3% fine for defaulting on payment.