Army Spokesman clarifies claims military seized oil palm in Surat Thani

Army Spokesman Col Winthai Suwaree.
Army Spokesman Col Winthai Suwaree.

Bangkok – Army Spokesman Col Winthai Suwaree has responded to a statement by former Democrat party MP Wachara Petchthong that palm farmers had complained to him that soldiers had seized their raw palm intended for sale in Surat Thani province, saying he was presenting incomplete facts.

Col Winthai explained that the action was in line with policy set by a meeting of relevant representatives and that only sub-par quality palm was seized.

The low quality produce is to be transformed into fertilizer and redistributed to growers in defense of the palm industry’s quality. The measure has improved palm oil extraction in Surat Thani by 18 percent and allowed purchase prices of raw palm to rise to 3.3-3.6 baht per kilogram, adding 200 to 300 baht in profit to farmers. Nonetheless, Col Winthai acknowledged that requests have been made to put the measure on hold as producers adapt.