Agriculture Ministry will try to peg rubber price at 33 baht/kg for rubber sheets

The Ministry of Agriculture will urge rubber traders to keep purchasing price of rubber sheets at not lower than 33 baht a kilogramme in order to help rubber farmers who have demanded the government to guarantee the price at 50 baht/kg.

The new measure to urge traders to buy rubber sheets at 33 baht/kg was meted out at a meeting on Thursday of the committee tasked with resolving rubber problems which is headed by agriculture permanent secretary Thirapat Prayoonsit.

The committee, said Mr Thirapat, will assess rubber prices every seven days and assess production of new rubber expected in the next three months in order to work out an appropriate quota plan for the production of different kinds of rubber produce.

Meanwhile, agriculture vice minister Chintana Chaiwannakarn will visit rubber farmers in Nakhon Si Thammarat this coming Sunday. She indicated that the ministry might resort to the enforcement of the rubber control law to fix rubber price at 33 baht/kg.

Meanwhile, rubber farmers in southern provinces are coordinating to increase pressure on the government to come to their rescue by subsidizing rubber price at 50 baht/kg.

Agriculture minister Chatchai Sarikalya said the government has tried to help out rubber farmers with a short-term project by extending them loans to switch to cash crops or to raise domesticated animals such as sheep or goat to make a living.

Also, he said the Transport Ministry would use about 20,000 tonnes rubber this year for road surfacing.