National Rice Policy Committee to review rice pledging programs to ensure fairness

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BANGKOK, 28 July 2012  – The National Rice Policy Committee is set to review the process of rice pledging in order to ensure fairness for participating farmers.

Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom told reporters that the National Rice Policy Committee had held a meeting to discuss the state-initiated rice pledging program for the 2012/2013 crops and it initially agreed to kick off the campaign on October 1st, 2012.

Mr. Boonsong said that the meeting also noted that the severe flood crisis in late 2011 has vastly damaged rice fields and delayed the off-season rice faming.

He added that the National Rice Policy Committee resolved to extend the pledging period for August-September harvest, which is expected to produce around 1-2 million tons of rice paddy and requires about 20 billion baht of the state budget to execute.

The Commerce Minister said that there is not a deadline set for the upcoming rice pledging period, which will begin on October 1st as the meeting agreed that there should be a revision of the rice-pledging process in order to make this state-sponsored program a fair deal for all farmers.

He went on to say that the upcoming pledging scheme is expected to cost the government no less than 260 billion baht to pay farmers at a rate of 15,000-20,000 baht per ton of rice.