Cabinet okays schemes for rice, oil palm
The cabinet on Tuesday approved a package worth 59 billion baht in price guarantees and subsidy schemes for rice and oil palm.
Of the total budget, 13.3 billion baht is for the price guarantee programme for rice, 21.4 billion for oil palm and the remaining 25 billion is to subsidise production costs for rice farmers.
Rachada Dhnadirek, a deputy government spokeswoman, said the rice price guarantee scheme will cover five types of rice: white rice paddy with 15% moisture, Thai hom mali rice paddy, fragrant Pathum Thani rice paddy with 15% moisture, glutinous rice paddy with 15% moisture, and provincial fragrant rice paddy.
Under the scheme, which will run from October this year to October 2020, farmers will see the price of white rice paddy with 15% moisture guaranteed at 10,000 baht per tonne, but the guaranteed rice cannot exceed 30 tonnes per family or 40 rai.
The guaranteed price is set at 15,000 baht a tonne for Thai hom mali rice paddy, but limited to 14 tonnes per family or 40 rai, while fragrant Pathum Thani rice paddy with 15% moisture is set at 11,000 baht a tonne with a limit of 25 tonnes per family or 40 rai.
The price of glutinous rice paddy with 15% moisture is set at 12,000 baht a tonne for a limit of 16 tonnes or 40 rai, while the price of provincial fragrant rice paddy is set at 14,000 baht at tonne for a limit of 16 tonnes per family or 40 rai.
The scheme will be run by the state-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC).
Under the programme, farmers will be paid the differences only when the prices fall below the benchmark prices.
Ms Rachada said the cabinet also acknowledged the 25 billion baht allocated from fiscal 2019 to subsidise rice farmers' production costs during the 2019-20 main crop at 500 baht per rai, for a limit of 20 rai per family.
For palm, the cabinet agreed to set the guaranteed price for fresh palm nuts at four baht a kg, for a limit of 25 rai per family.
Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said the government expected 300,000 farmers to participate in the project, which will run from August this year to September 2020. To be eligible, planters must register with the Agriculture Extension Department and the money will be deposited directly into their BAAC accounts.