11 July 2024

The Cabinet decided today to grant 120 baht in subsidy for each tonne of cut raw sugarcane, as an incentive to discourage farmers from burning the cane to facilitate harvesting, which increases PM2.5 air pollution.

Deputy Industry Minister Pimpatra Wichaikul said today that as many as 40,000 sugarcane farmers are expected to join the program, which is due to start in January, with the new sugarcane milling season.

While the burning of cane makes them easier to cut, the sugar content is reduced and the farmers fetch lower prices for their produce.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and his cabinet ministers held their mobile cabinet meeting today in the northeastern province of Nong Bua Lam Phu. The meeting was also attended by governors of five north-eastern provinces, which include Nong Bua Lam Phu, Bueng Kan, Loei, Nong Khai and Udon Thani.

Several local issues were raised for discussion, among them illegal narcotics, poverty, land rights, the low prices of farm produce, water shortages and tourism potential.

Since these provinces are regarded as secondary provinces with tourism potential, due to their local cultures and foods, the prime minister instructed the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Tourism Authority of Thailand to develop ways to promote tourism in these provinces.

The Transport Ministry has agreed to designate Bang Sue train terminal in Bangkok as a centre for the promotion of OTOP products from these north-eastern provinces, while the Commerce Ministry and the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society will jointly design online platforms to help farmers sell their produce.