Rubber protesters await rubber committee resolution

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BANGKOK, Sept 5 — Protesting rubber growers and the Thai government have failed to reach an agreement on rubber prices, so the issue was forwarded to the Natural Rubber Policy Committee (NRPC) for consideration today.

Rubber farmer representatives and Deputy Prime Minister/Finance Minister Kittratt Na-Raong met at the Government Complex on Chaeng Watthana Road last night but did not bridge their differences on the measures to help the planters last night after almost three hours of negotiations.

The protesters demand that the government guarantee the price at Bt120 baht/kg.

They rejected the government’s fertilizer subsidy offer of Bt1,260 per rai limited to 10 rai, claiming that rubber growers would not benefit from the measure.

They threatened to intensify their demonstration by holding protests in every district of the province if their demands were not met.

Mr Kittiratt and Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Yukol Limlaemthong who attended last night’s negotiations, insisted that the government had no policy of intervening in the rubber market.

The deputy prime minister made no decision, but said he would give the demands to the NRPC which was already scheduled to meet today to find additional measures to help the growers.

The protesters remained at the Surat Thani Co-Op office in Phunphin district but did not block the road, as they await the NRPC resolution.