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Over 2.4 million farmers to get cash assistance under rice price guarantee scheme from Dec 9


The Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) will disburse Bt20.4 billion to some 2.4 million farmers on Wednesday after the Cabinet approved an additional budget of Bt28 billion for the government’s rice price guarantee scheme.

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This amount is in addition to the originally santioned budget of Bt18 billion.

The scheme aims to compensate nationwide rice farmers of over 4.56 million households.

“The reason why the scheme needs a higher budget is that this year’s rice prices have dropped more than previously estimated,” said Kasab Ngernrungrong, BAAC deputy manager.

“The price of Hom Mali [jasmine] rice is currently Bt2,899 per tonne lower than the guarantee price, round rice is Bt877 per tonne lower, Pathum fragrant rice is Bt1,039 per tonne lower, and sticky rice is Bt933 per tonne lower.”

The scheme limits the maximum amount of rice guaranteed per household: Hom Mali rice is capped at 14 tonnes, round and Pathum fragrant rice at 25 tonnes and sticky rice at 16 tonnes.

The BAAC also has earmarked Bt15.28 billion as subsidy for farmers who keep unmilled rice in their barns instead of selling to the mills in a bid to prevent oversupply which will cause the rice price to plummet further.

“Farmers who keep unmilled rice would get Bt1,500 subsidy per tonne, and they would be allowed to sell their rice when the price situation improves,” he said.

“We estimate that towards the year-end more than 200,000 farmers will apply under the campaign.

“The bank would try to disburse the money under related schemes to rice farmers before the year-end so that they could invest in next year’s cultivation as well as spend during the new year festival. We estimate that when combined with all available measures, a rice farmer could receive up to Bt70,000 from the BAAC,” he added.

Besides rice, the BAAC is also responsible for price guarantee schemes of other crops, including rubber with a budget of Bt9.7 billion, tapioca (Bt9.5 billion), corn for animal feed (Bt1.8 billion), oil palm (Bt8.8 billion), and longan (Bt3.4 billion).

Published : December 06, 2020

By : THE NATION