BAAC allocates 60 billion baht in relief budget for rice farmers

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BANGKOK, 28 June 2013 The Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) has allocated a budget of 60 billion baht to finance five measures aimed at assisting farmers who have been affected by the reduction in pledged price under the government’s rice pledging program. The reduction came after a tremendous loss in the rice program. 

According to Deputy Finance Minister Tanusak Lek-uthai, in his capacity as BAAC chairman, the BAAC board has approved a budget of 60 billion baht to help 200,000 rice farmers who are being affected by the reduction in the rice pledging price. The money will be spent of five relief measures. One of them is to cut the interest rate on lendings to farmers by 3%. Another measure allows the use of the Farmers Credit cards without charges. The BAAC will also subsidize half of the farm insurance premiums usually paid by farmers in an effort to reduce their production cost.

The move came after the cabinet had agreed with the National Rice Policy Committee to cut the rice pledging price to 12,000 baht from 15,000 baht per ton. The pledging price cut was based on the global rice price situation, the baht appreciation and rising rice supply in the global market. The price decrease is also expected to help sustain the country’s fiscal discipline. The 60-billion-baht BAAC assistance program will last one year.