Farmers say rice at Bt13,500/tonne is fair price

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Three Thai farmers associations have jointly proposed to the government that it purchase white rice at Bt13,500/tonne and jasmine rice at Bt20,000/tonne during the next harvest season, according to a senior Commerce Ministry official.

Wiboonlasana Ruamraksa, director general of the Internal Trade Department, said the proposal would be submitted to the National Rice Policy Committee for consideration on Monday.

Representatives from the Thai Rice Farmers Association, Thai Farmers Association and Thai Farmers Promotion Association said the production cost for white rice is around Bt8,000-9,000/tonne.

They also proposed that farmers be allowed to sell rice under the pledging scheme at the maximum of Bt400,000 per household.

It is estimated that next year’s crops will yield 28 million tonnes of paddy nationwide.

The farmers said they would receive only Bt9,000/tonne if the government fixed the pledging price at Bt12,000/tonne.

Rice millers allow humidity levels at only 15 percent for the rice they purchase but the humidity of harvested paddy is normally around 28-30 percent, compelling farmers to lose Bt3,000/tonne for the high humidity in rice, they explained.