The Commerce Ministry to speed up the process of payment under the rice pledging scheme

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BANGKOK, 10 Feb 2014 The Commerce Ministry is reportedly ready to sell more than 200,000 tons of rice stockpiles during the rice auction via the Agriculture Futures Exchange of Thailand (AFET) whose income is expected to be used to pay farmers who have not received the payments of the rice support program. 

Deputy Commerce Minister Yanyong Phuangrach revealed that the AFET would sell 227,000 tons of rice from 11 silos in 8 provinces in a new round of rice auction on Thursday, adding that another batch of 460,000 tons would be sold during a general auction along with a bigger lot of 500,000 tons to be auctioned among rice mills. The two latter auctions will also be conducted this month, Mr. Yanyong added, raising the total amount of stockpiled rice to be released in February to 1.2 millions tons.

The Deputy Minister expected the auctions would generate about 10 billion baht which will be used to pay farmers who are waiting for payments for the rice already pledged to the government. According to him, the government currently owes around 116 billion baht to farmers in the rice pledging scheme.