Southern rubber farmers demand government lift rubber price to Bt120/kg

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SONGKHLA, July 22- Southern Thai rubber growers on Sunday called on the government to shore up rubber prices and purchase rubber at Bt120 per kilogramme.

Preecha Sukkasem, representative of a network of rubber growers in the southern region, on Sunday afternoon submitted a letter to Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Nattawut Saikuar, who was travelled to Songkhla’s Hat Yai district.

The network demanded that the relevant state agencies speed up the process to buy rubber at Bt120 per kilogramme within one month.

If the government fails to meet their demands by the deadline, the group threatens to gather 20,000 signatures and petition the government change relevant ministers who they deem responsible for their problems.

They also threatened to gather in front of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s residence until the problems are resolved.

After acknowledging the request, Mr Nattawut told the rubber planters gathering in front of Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel in Hat Yai’s prime business area that he would help them resolve the problems.

After the cabinet had approved the Rubber Estate Organisation (REO) to purchase raw rubber sheet at Bt100 per kilogramme and smoked rubber sheet at Bt104, rubber prices in the market rose last week and were likely to continue rising this week, he said.

Meanwhile, governors of the 47 rubber-planting provinces across the country were set to have a meeting at Government House tomorrow to figure out a measure to speed up the process of buying rubber from farmers.