Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Budget allocated to help beef cattle farmers increase competitiveness

Jan 11. 2020
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By THE NATION

The Free Trade Agreement Fund has approved a budget of Bt161.79 million for the Department of Livestock Development to help beef cattle farmers increase their competitiveness and improve product quality to compete with overseas products, Rapheephat Chansriwong, secretary-general of Office of Agricultural Economics (OAE), revealed on Friday (January 10).

“The Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement, which features SSG measure that limit import of certain products from Australia and New Zealand will expire on January 1, 2021,” he said.

“We estimate that the expiry of the agreement will increase the import of live cattle, frozen meat and frozen entrails from both countries as they are cheaper than domestic products. This will affect Thai cattle farmers who are already suffering from high production cost and unpredictable market prices.”

Rapheephat further explained that the OAE will work with the Department of Livestock Development in three areas: maintaining the consumption rate of domestic beef, increasing the numbers of beef cattle raised in Thailand, and improving the quality of cattle feed.

“The OAE and Department of Livestock Development will collaborate with private sector entities such as Premium Beef Ltd in developing a standardised cattle trading system to make sure that farmers receive a fair price for their products under a price guarantee mechanism,” he said. “This will also eliminate the concerns of not having markets for their products.”

“With this fund, we also aim to boost the production capacity of beef cattle to 250 animals per month or 3,000 per year, as well as install central feedlots that are certified under GAP [Good Agricultural Practices] standard and are FMD [foot-and-mouth disease] free at selected farms nationwide,” he added. “It is estimated that the project will help boost the consumption of domestic beef and reduce the import of products from overseas valued at Bt150 million per year.”

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