Farmers assured of paddy price review by Friday

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BANGKOK, June 25 – Farmers from 15 provinces rallied at Government House today and set a seven-day deadline for the government to retain its earlier pledging price of paddy at Bt15,000 per tonne.

The government has announced a reduction of the rice subsidy from Bt15,000/tonne to Bt12,000/tonne, effective June 30.

Representatives of three rice farming associations and farmers from 15 provinces called on the government to purchase paddy at Bt15,000/per tonne until the end of the 2013 second harvest in September and for the southern region in November. Harvesting in the South is two months behind other regions.

Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office Varathep Rattanakorn and Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom received the protest letter and said the farmers’ proposal would be raised in the meeting of the National Rice Police Committee (NRPC) by the end of the workday on Friday.

Mr Boonsong promised to do his best in alleviating the farmers’ plight but emphasised that the issue must be reviewed by the NRPC.

Farmers vowed to rally in Bangkok again if their demand was not met.