BANGKOK, 7 Jan 2014 Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan has assured farmers who sold their rice to the government under the rice pledging scheme and have not yet received compensations will be able to collect their payments within this month. He said that his ministry is talking with the Election Commission (EC) to grant the authority to the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) to start distributing the payments.
Minister Niwatthamrong stressed however that any other long-term schemes of the ministry would have to wait until a new government.
Since the scheme’s inception until December last year, it had paid 180 billion baht to farmers, the minister said, adding that rice farmers continue to sell their crops to the program, worth approximately one billion baht each month.
The minister said the government has set aside 270 billion baht for the current cropping season as it is expecting 10 million tons of rice to be sold to the scheme.