Rice farmers encouraged to grow cassava and sugar cane to boost income

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BANGKOK, 20 June 2013 Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has said the move to reduce the pledging price per ton of rice is to reflect the true production cost and keep a balance in the market mechanism. 

In her move to promote public understanding, the Prime Minister instructed provincial governors to clarify to farmers the reasons why the 15,000 baht pledging price has to be reduced to 12,000 baht.

Ms. Yingluck said there is a need to lower the pledging price in line with the global trend and to keep Thailand financially sound. She added, however, that the pledging price could increase again if the global prices of rice improve.

The Prime Minister reiterated that her government has followed through on its promise made during the election campaign, to guarantee rice price at 15,000 baht per ton. Despite the price reduction, Ms. Yingluck said the scheme will be carried on.

Rice farmers are being urged to grow cassava and sugar cane in the government’s new move to introduce agricultural zoning by which other crops will be promoted in areas inappropriate for rice farming. Agriculture Ministry officials and provincial governors have been instructed to meet farmers to raise the latter’s understanding of the new policy which is designed to boost their incomes.