Cabinet approves 5bn baht agro subsidies

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Bangkok – Adviser to the Prime Minister’s Office, Natporn Jatusripitak, revealed this week that the Cabinet had approved an additional agricultural assistance budget of approximately 5.07 billion baht. The funds will go to harvesting assistance and quality development for rice farming in the 2018-19 production year.

Of the amount, roughly 4.96 billion baht has been earmarked for agricultural assistance and 109 million baht for the operations of the state-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC).

Financial aid for rice harvesting will be disbursed at a rate of 1,500 baht per 0.16 hectares, capped at 1.92 hectares or 18,000 baht per agricultural household. The government has set a target of benefiting 4.06 million households, which would reportedly cost 56.47 billion baht.

Currently, over 278,800 households managing 556,800 hectaresi of farmland have registered for assistance, which translates into 5.22 billion baht in agricultural aid.

The Cabinet meeting also approved a redistribution of funds in the one million homes project. Under the new loan framework, 40 billion baht would go to those earning under 25,000 baht per month, while 10 billion baht would go to those earning more than 25,000 baht per month.

For those earning under 25,000 baht a month, the home loans carry an interest rate of 3% for the first five years. Those earning more would have the same interest rate for only three years. The changes were prompted by the higher than anticipated number registering in the lower-income bracket.