Bangkok – The Ministry of Agriculture is set to encourage farmers to grow corn instead of off-season rice, as part of efforts to tackle an excess supply of rice and falling prices.
Agriculture Minister Grisada Boonrach said that the corn growing promotion is part of the government’s San Palan Pracharat public-private collaboration, which has been initiated to offer alternative crops for farmers traditionally engaged in off-season rice growing.
Grisada said that Thailand produces between 14 million tons and 15 million tons of rice each year, but demand from within and outside Thailand stands at between 11 million tons and 12 million tons only.
He stated that the excess supply has driven rice prices lower.
At the same time, the current annual level of production of corn for animal feed is five million tons against the annual demand for eight million tons, according to the Agriculture Minister.
The Agriculture Minister says that the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives is ready to offer a low-interest loan to interested farmers while the Agriculture Sector Cooperatives and Farmers Groups Development Division will help facilitate the sale of their crops to ensure a fair deal.