Pledging price of rice may be lowered
The Ministry of Commerce will propose to the National Rice Policy Committee that the pledging price of non-glutinous unmilled rice be lowered, permanent secretary Watcharee Wimuktayon said.
- Published: 28/02/2013 at 11:30 AM
- Newspaper section: breakingnews
The rice panel, chaired by Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom, is scheduled to meet on Friday, March 1.
Mrs Watcharee said her ministry will propose three price levels for non-glutinous paddy to the committee for consideration - the same 15,000 baht per tonne, 14,000 baht and 13,000 baht per tonne.
Pledging prices for other kinds of paddy would be unchanged. The government rice pledging scheme for the second crop begin in April- May, she added.
Under the rice pledging programme over the past two years, payment for rice was set at 15,000 baht a tonne for non-glutinous paddy and 20,000 baht per tonne for Hom Mali paddy, she said.
The scheme had helped farmers gain higher incomes and make debt repayments, Mrs Watcharee said.
It was now the right time for her ministry to bring about balance to rice market and the rice export sector.
If the pledging price of the paddy is lowered, rice exporters would be able to export more and foreign exchange revenue would rise and the rice industry would expand, while farmers would not be affected, she said.
The permanent secretary said the pledging price of non-glutinous paddy might remain the same, at 15,000 baht a tonne, depending on the decision of the committee.
Wichian Puanglamjiag, chairman of the Thai farmers Association, said he believed rice farmers nationwide would definitely disagree with the plan to lower the rice pledging price.
Mr Wichian said he will call a meeting of members to discuss ways to ask the government to put this plan on hold, given the high cost of living, the rising cost of rice production and the increasing cost of renting paddy fields.
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