Govt declared success in rice-pledging scheme

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BANGKOK, 18 August 2012  – The government has declared its success in the rice-pledging program, which is said to have helped raise the standard of living for more than 2 million households. 

Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom said on Friday that the government-initiated rice pledging scheme has been a success, as it has helped raise the standard of living of more than 2 million farmers’ families, out of some 3 million households registered with the Ministry.

He revealed that about 6.9 million tons of unhusked in-season rice were pledged with the government while approximately 10 million tons of the off-season rice produce were pledged with the government.

The Commerce Minister stated that the program has effectively raised local rice price to 11,000 baht per ton, while the average global rice price now stands at 678 US dollars per ton, which is already higher than last year’s price of 500 dollars a ton.

Mr. Boonsong is confident that if this trend continues, Thai farmers will be relieved from debt burden and have a better standard of living within 2-3 years.

He said that the government forecasts Thai rice exports at 8 million tons for 2012.