Rubber farmers block highway in Surat Thani

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SURAT THANI, July 10- Some 1,000 rubber growers on Tuesday blocked Asian Highway Route 41 in this southern Thai province, demanding that the government resolve the  falling natural rubber price.

Surat Thani rubber farmers blocked Asian Highway Route 41, both inbound and outbound, in Tha Chang district.

The farmers intended to call on the government to buy their processed rubber at Bt120 per kilogramme to tackle the lower price which has dropped to Bt87 per kilogramme.

The move came after the group of rubber growers in the southern on June 14 submitted a letter to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra via the Surat Thani governor, requesting the government to purchase the rubber products from the producers at Bt120 per kilogramme as earlier given a pledge by Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Nattawut Saikuar.

The growers began the gathering at 10am this morning on Asian Highway Route 41 and threatened to block the road if the government did not give them an answer or solution by 11am.

The roadblock has caused heavy traffic congestion and local police have had to help affected drivers and advise them to use nearby roads instead.