Thai Rice Farmers Association backs govt rice pledging scheme

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BANGKOK, June 7 – The Thai Rice Farmers Association said it supports the government continuing its rice pledging scheme.

Association chairman Prasit Boonchei said most farmers are worried now that the government may reconsider its rice pledging scheme after the project ends in September.

As a representative of farmers, Mr Prasit said his association had submitted a letter to the prime minister and related ministers indicating that Thai farmers did not agree with ending the rice programme.

However, according to Mr Prasit, most farmers understand that the government needs a huge amount of money if the unhusked rice price is guaranteed at Bt15,000-Bt20,000/tonne. Therefore, they suggested an acceptable lower price at Bt10,000/tonne.

The Thai Rice Farmers Association is seeking measures to help farmers reduce production costs by setting up low price shops and inviting farmers to become members and shop there for goods at cheaper prices.

This project aims to reduce rice production costs/rai from Bt6,000-Bt7,000 to only Bt4,000. A pilot scheme will start soon in Ayutthaya and Suphanburi provinces.