Minister of Commerce Boonsong Teriyapirom has asserted that the government’s rice-pledging program will continue next year under the same amount of budget.
According to Mr. Boonsong, the pledging of rice for the 2013/14 season requires almost 200 billion baht, which is close to the amount required for the previous 2012/13 season. Whether the pledging price of 15,000 baht per ton will be changed depends on the upshot of future Cabinet meetings.
He is also confident that money received from selling the pledged rice abroad would be enough to sustain future pledging.
As for the government’s huge stockpile of the pledged rice, the Minister explained that the Department of Foreign Trade is negotiating government-to-government rice trade deals with several countries and renewing deals with existing trading partners. The department is also looking to quickly deliver rice sold under existing contracts.