11 July 2024

Thailand’s Rice Policy and Management Committee has approved a budget, amounting to about 150 billion baht, to guarantee the income of more than 4.6 million rice farming households for their 2022-2023 rice crops.

The committee also agreed to extend the period for resolvingthe controversial rice pledging scheme, of the former government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, for another year, as there are still about 218,000 tonnes of unsold rice in warehouses.

Most of the remaining rice is now rotten and is often sold as inedible rice to be converted into bio fuel.

The budget is divided into about 86.7 billion baht for a program under which the state will set the minimum rice market price, updated every seven days. The state will pay the price difference to farmers who are unable to sell their crops at the set prices.

The other 63.3 billion baht is subsidy to be extended to farmers to encourage them not to sell their crops at a time when the rice is fully harvested and prices drop accordingly.

Each farming household will be given a subsidy of 1,000 baht per 0.16 hectare, but not exceeding 3.2 hectares or 20,000 baht in total.

Pramote Charoensilp, president of Thai Agriculturalist Association, said that farmers welcome this scheme, which will guarantee their income from the sale of their crops, and they want the scheme to operate every year.