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PM orders ministry to sell government’s costly rice stockpile

May 29. 2017
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By The Nation

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Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered the Commerce Ministry to sell its still-large stocks of rice, as it costs the government an average of Bt1 billion a month to maintain the stockpile.

He told the “Thailand Rice Convention 2017” on Monday that the government had sold 13 million tonnes out of a total of 18 million tonnes of rice harvested under the mortgage scheme. 

“We took up to three years to sell that rice stock, at prices lower than [those under] the rice mortgage scheme because of the deterioration of the rice [during that time],” the PM said.

However, the government must now clear all of the remaining stock in order to improve rice prices for long the term, he explained. 

The government also has to collaborate with the private sector in drawing up a national master plan to develop Thailand’s agriculture into an agricultural-processing sector within the next 20 years, and especially for the production of innovative rice, Prayut added.

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