Commerce Ministry pledges to help rice farmers lower costs

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BANGKOK, 27 September 2014 The Commerce Ministry has pledged to help lower costs for farmers who have asked for higher price guarantee.

Gen. Patamapong Pratompad, Assistant Commerce Minister, chaired a meeting between five farmers organisations and the Commerce Ministry to discuss the problems and the requests from rice farmers

Farmer representatives asked the government to increase the minimum price for unhusked grains with 15% moisture from the upcoming harvest to 10,000 baht per ton. The proposed price is a hefty rise from the current average market prices of 6,000-7,000 baht per ton.

For Hommali Rice, farmers would like the minimum price to go up to 16,000 baht per ton.

Gen. Patamapong agreed to accept the proposals that will be passed on to the Commerce Ministry for consideration, while suggesting farmers look for ways to boost their income as the current government has no policy to make financial compensation for farmers.

He added that new measures have already been planned to help farmers with the new crops, including the offer of production factors worth 425 baht per rai and the coordination with rice mills to buy up crops from farmers.