Sunday, October 20, 2019

Cabinet earmarks Bt286m to help tapioca farmers hit by mosaic disease

Sep 20. 2019
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By The Nation

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At a meeting with the Tapioca Policy and Administration Committee (TPAC) on Thursday (September 19), Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said the Cabinet has approved measures to help tapioca farmers whose crops have been hit by the cassava mosaic disease (CMD).

“There is now an epidemic in 11 provinces, and the Cabinet has approved Bt286 million for control and prevention of the disease and also as subsidy for affected farmers,” he said.

Jurin added that affected tapioca farmers will be eligible for a Bt3,000 subsidy per rai based on the following conditions:

- Farmers should have registered as tapioca growers with TPAC between April 1 and September 30; and

- Farmers must notify the TPAC of their farms being affected by the disease by June 30 next year.

The Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry has estimated that 45,400 rai of tapioca farms in Thailand have been affected by CMD, while over 4,500 farmers are awaiting government aid since the disease broke out earlier this year.

Jurin has also tasked the Department of Agricultural Extension to draw up a plan to prevent the disease as well as find a way to properly eliminate infected plants.

The cassava mosaic disease wipes out entire harvests and so far, no remedy has been found other than eliminating the tobacco whitefly, which carries the disease, and eliminating the infected plants.

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