Farmers mob in Chainat lift roadblock, expect payment by month’s end

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CHAINAT, 28 January 2014  Farmers in Chainat province lifted their roadblock on Monday, under the condition that they receive payment for their pledged rice by the end of the month. 

The farmers indicated that all branches of the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives in Phichit were calling in the farmers who pledged their rice, to register them for payment. Most of the farmers asserted they would no longer hold their rallies, as there had been political interference and urging for them to block off state offices.

On Monday, farmers in Chainat and Nakhon Sawan also lifted their blockades of Asia Rd, giving the government until January 31 to find funds to pay the 24,000 unpaid farmers who had earlier pledged their rice in the mortgage program. The farmers however said they would resume and escalate their rallies if they remain unpaid.

The government has been working to foster an understanding with the Public Debt Management Office in order to take out a 130 billion baht loan that would be used to pay farmers in the rice pledging program. The loan will be taken from whichever commercial bank offering the lowest interest. The loan is expected to be taken out this week.