Government to formulate drought aid plans for 2016

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BANGKOK, 25 September 2015 – The Ministry of Finance has planned to discuss aid measures for the agro-sector with the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, in preparation for the dry season next year.

After a meeting with three government banks, Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong revealed that the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) and the Government Savings Bank (GSB) would offer debt suspension and further credit to farmers in drought-hit areas.

SME Bank will help boost farmers’ incomes via a variety of channels, such as community enterprise and One Tambon One Product outlets: it will also cooperate with the Ministry of Commerce in launching trade fairs. The Ministry of Finance may approve a fund to help farmers in areas where the crisis is too severe to handle.

Mr. Apisak added that he would discuss the aid measures with the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives in order to map out integrated solutions together. The talk is expected to take no more than a week. The result will be submitted to the cabinet during the meeting in early October.