PM assures rice farmers of govt’s sincerity


BANGKOK, 18 February 2014  The Prime Minister has assured rice farmers of the government’s sincere intention to solve problems in its rice support scheme, saying payments will be made to all the farmers participating in the program. 

Prime Minister and Defense Minister Yingluck Shinawatra made a televised announcement on the National Broadcasting Service of Thailand (NBT), saying the rice program was designed to uplift the quality of life of farmers as well as to help them create income and greater stability.

According to the Prime Minister, a number of farmers have already received the money for their pledged rice and that all farmers taking part in the program will be paid.

The Thai Premier has also urged anti-government protesters not to link the matter with politics, telling them to stop using the farmers as a tool to topple the government as it was elected by the majority of Thais.

Miss Yingluck went on to disclose that the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) would grant rice farmers owing money to the bank a 6-month extension for their repayments, adding that the bank would issue more loans to farmers who are planning to conduct or are already in the process of conducting off-season cultivation.

Lastly, the PM gave a strong assurance that the government would do its best to protect the rights and benefits of the farmers.