The government yesterday (Aug 4) endorsed several measures to help rice farmers fetch higher prices for their crops as global rice prices are soaring.
The measures were given approval at a meeting of the Rice Policy Committee chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
The meeting was told of the promisingly global rice prices rise due mainly to the fact that Thailand’s major competitors were facing difficulties involving natural calamities.
Jasmine rice prices have risen from 10,000 baht/tonne to 12,000 baht/tonne.
Sticky rice prices accordingly also rose from 9,300 to 12,000 baht/tonne and regular rice rose from 7,700 to 8,800 baht/tonne.
The meeting agreed to provide greater stability with regards to agricultural prices by introducing credits in order to support stocking of rice yields from the 2017/2018 crop year.
First among these is an increase in credit for farmers for the previous years crop yield from 7,700 – 8,800 baht/tonne to 10,000 baht/tonne.
The second form of credit will be provided to agricultural cooperatives, agricultural institutions and millers to help farmers by purchasing and stocking rice crops.
With these measures, they will effectively be able to absorb 10.5 million tonnes of rice stocks on their own.
Overall, the government has budgeted 40 to 50 billion baht to help farmers, part of which will come from loans from commercial banks.
In light of the recent flood problem, the Rice Policy Committee also delegated relevant government agencies to find ways to lower production overheads for farmers in the form of cheaper plant seeds, farm equipment and fertilisers.