The rice pledging scheme, a topic set to figure prominently in the government censure debates later this month, utilises market forces more than past support programmes favoured by the Democrat Party, insisted Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong yesterday.
Mr Kittiratt said the crop insurance programme used by the Abhisit Vejjajiva government distorted the market even more because rice mills had no incentive to buy rice from farmers at high prices.
Instead, rice mills pushed paddy prices down, knowing that farmers could seek compensation from the government insurance programme. At the same time, the Democrat programme offered no incentives to farmers to improve their productivity, said Mr Kittiratt.
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