Cabinet okays THB6-billion subsidy to further reduce burning of sugarcane fields
The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a THB6.056 billion subsidy for sugarcane farmers who cut fresh cane for sugar factories instead of burning them, in a bid to reduce air pollution caused by the burning of plantations, deputy government spokesperson Ratchada Thanadirek said.
The move was proposed by the Industry Ministry, with the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives chosen to handle disbursement of the subsidy.
“The ministry aims to subsidise approximately 300,000 farmers at THB120 per tonne throughout crop year 2020-2021. The money will be transferred around June to September to BAAC accounts,” Ratchada said.
“The target of this year’s campaign is to have at least 56 million tonnes of fresh sugarcane fed to sugar factories nationwide, or 80 per cent of total cane output, which is estimated at 70 million tonnes throughout the crop year,” she said.
During the previous crop year (2019-2020), the programme dispersed a subsidy of THB3.45 billion to 133,000 farmers, managing to reduce the amount of burnt sugarcane to 49.65 per cent of total cane output from 61 per cent in crop year 2018-2019.
The Cabinet also acknowledged the programme’s target to reduce burnt sugarcane fields from 10 per cent of total cane output in crop year 2021-2022 to less than five per cent in 2022-2023 and zero in 2023-2024.