By THE NATION
A fund worth Bt55 billion has been set aside to grant soft loans to farmers affected by this year’s severe drought, a senior official from the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) said on August 22.
Speaking at an event in Surin province, assistant BAAC manager Somkiat Kimaoha said the 1 million loans of Bt50,000 each will be interest free in first-year repayment, while those repaying the loan in two to five years will have to pay a low unspecified interest rate.
He said Bt50 billion will be used to provide loans worth Bt50,000 each until December 31, adding that the remaining Bt5 billion will cover loans for farmers who want to restore their farm’s fertility or want to switch to crops that do not require too much water.
The Bt5 billion will cover 10,000 loans of Bt500,000 each, which can be repaid over 15 years at an interest rate of 5 per cent.
Somkiat said farmers registered with the Department of Agriculture Extension are entitled to receive compensation for drought at the rate of Bt500 per rai for no more than 20 rai.