Farmers hail cabinet's brake on rice price cut
The Thai Farmers Association on Tuesday welcomed the cabinet's decision to hold back a decision on whether to reduce paddy pledging prices, and threatened major protests if price cuts were ordered.
- Published: 18/06/2013 at 08:18 PM
- Newspaper section: breakingnews
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said Tuesday the cabinet had "acknowledged" proposals from its rice policy panel, but had sent them back to provide additional information before taking a decision on the future of the scheme.
Association chairman Wichian Puanglamjiak said he was grateful for the cabinet’s decision. He said the current pledging price of 15,000 baht a tonne, and its condition that the rice must have a moisture content not exceeding 15%, was already appropriate. He hoped the two-year-old scheme would continue for another next five years.
Proposals from the committee have recommended cutting the purchase price from 15,000 to 13,500 baht a tonne. Mr Wichian said such a cut would adversely impact rice farmers.
Farming production costs have risen and will not subside, he said.
Mr Wichian said a price reduction will make it hard for farmers to cover costs, and many will end up pledging their rice for less than 10,000 baht a tonne if the price is further cut, or the moisture-content stipulation is changed.
Farmers would make no profit if the government cuts pledging prices, while paddy moisture content restrictions remain the same.
Mr Wichian said farmers have always supported the Pheu Thai Party-led government, but if their request to maintain the current paddy pledging price is not responded, they will submit a protest letter or send representatives to discuss the problem.
If such talks fail, Mr Wichian threatened to mobilise farmers to hold street protests in their provinces or even organsie a caravan of tractors to block streets in Bangkok.
About the author
- Writer: Sunthon Pongpao
- Position: Reporter