Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha asked politicians not to upstage themselves by buying rice from farmers in front of the media, but should be sincere in helping them.
The prime minister did not name any politicians in particular, but it was well understood that he meant former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra who visited farmers in Ubon Ratchathani on Thursday and bought some rice from them to be given to members of her entourage.
The prime minister apologized to the president of the Thai Rice Millers Association for resigning from the post after rice millers came under criticism, including from the prime minister himself, for allegedly colluding with local politicians to suppress Hom Mali paddy price.
He said he had no ill intention to undermine or destroy any party involved in the rice trade and pleaded with the president of the Thai Rice Millers Association and the association’s board not to quit, but to tell the truth about alleged rice price suppression.
He urged farmers not rely on rice cultivation as their only means to make a living, but to practice sustainable agriculture – meaning they should plant more than one crop and do other things as well such as raising cattle or poultry.
The prime minister assured farmers that the government was doing its best to help them, but it had limitations too due to financial constraints. He thanked all the governmental agencies and private entities that are offering a help hand for the farmers.