Commerce Ministry pushes forward with 2013/2014 rice mortgage season

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BANGKOK, 21 Nov 2013, Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Bunsongphaisan reaffirms that the rice mortgage scheme for the 2013/2014 harvesting season has kicked off smoothly, adding the Finance Ministry has been selling bonds to fund the program.

Mr. Niwatthamrong said that the first round of rice mortgaging in the new season received warm response from rice farmers who continuously brought rice for pledging. According to the minister, the amount of rice already mortgaged since October 1st has been standing at approximately 3 million tons. The current harvesting season is expected to yield 8-9 million tons of rice.

The Government is also working to pay for the mortgaged rice without delay, he said.

As for the issuance of bonds by the Finance Ministry to raise fund for the rice pledging scheme, Mr. Niwatthamrong said it is the responsibility of the Finance Ministry and the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives to find money for the program. The Deputy Prime Minister also stated that the scheme is set to spend 500 billion baht as necessary revolving fund, the same amount as in the previous year.