Wed, October 20, 2021

business

Cabinet gives nod to Bt62bn rice, rubber price guarantees


Tuesday’s mobile Cabinet meeting in Phuket approved a budget of Bt61.9 billion to help rice and rubber farmers via the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC).

The rice income guarantee programme for 2020-2021 will use Bt51.858 billion to retain this year’s subsidised prices. It will guarantee prices per tonne of Bt15,000 for unmilled Jasmine rice (14 tonnes maximum per farmer), Bt14,000 for unmilled Jasmine rice outside the promoted area (16 tonnes maximum), Bt10,000 for unmilled rice (3 tonnes), Bt11,000 for unmilled Pathumthani fragrant rice (25 tonnes), and Bt12,000 for unmilled sticky rice (16 tonnes). The subsidy period runs from October 2020 to May 2021.
Parallel measures include interest-free loans to delay the sale of seasonal rice between November 1 and February 29. Farmers will receive a deposit of Bt500 per tonne of stored rice, or Bt1,000 per tonne for farming cooperatives.
Also, farming institutions and cooperatives who add value to rice will be offered soft loans at 1 per cent from October 1 to September 30 next year.
Meanwhile rice merchants will be compensated for stocking costs from November 1 to March 31 next year. Merchants who store their rice for 2-6 months will receive 3 per cent interest compensation, with the aim of sustaining supply to stabilise prices.
For rubber planters, the Cabinet approved a budget of Bt10.042 billion to guarantee incomes. It will guarantee prices per kilogram of Bt60 for good quality raw rubber sheet, Bt57 for fresh latex, and Bt23 for rubber lump – each limited to 25 rai per farmer. Forty per cent of the guarantee payment will go to workers and 60 per cent to farm owners. The scheme runs from October this year to March 2021.
The BAAC will fund the scheme via central budget.
Prapat Pothasuthon, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, said approval for the rice price guarantee scheme came just in time as farmers will start harvesting in two weeks. The scheme will aid farmers hit by the current low rice price.

Published : November 03, 2020

By : The Nation