The Commerce Ministry is poised to propose the cabinet approve an additional 1.4 billion baht to help corn and tapioca growers under the state-sponsored price guarantee scheme.
Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said after the meeting of the corn management committee it agreed to assist the 150,000 corn farmers who planted between June 1–30, 2019, one month ahead of the start of the annual price guarantee scheme.
Normally, the farmers will start growing corn from April to June and harvest during August to November.
The cabinet on Dec 11 last year approved a corn price guarantee scheme worth 923 million baht for the 2019-20 harvest season. The price guarantee was set at 8.50 baht per kilogramme for corn with 14.5% moisture content, with a limit of 30 rai per family.
Eligible corn should be grown between July 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020.
The project expires on Oct 31, 2020. The Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives will transfer money directly to 450,000 registered farmers.
The government has so far paid 432 million baht to 122,000 corn growers.
The tapioca management and policy committee also approved yesterday 460 million baht for tapioca growers, as current market prices of fresh cassava root are below the price guarantee scheme floor.
The Covid-19 pandemic was blamed for the lower prices, affecting the country's overall tapioca exports.
The price of fresh cassava root with 25% starch is now quoted at 2.08-2.10 baht per kg, lower than state price guarantee of 2.50 baht per kg.
The cabinet on Nov 12 approved 9.6 billion baht for the tapioca price guarantee scheme for the 2019-20 harvest season. The guarantee is limited to 100 tonnes per family.
The government has already paid 4.7 billion baht to farmers under the scheme.
As of April 13, the government has transferred 48.4 billion baht to eligible farmers under crop price guarantee schemes, accounting for 71% of the allocated budget. The scheme aims to cover 2.05 million farmer households.
Other price guarantee schemes are for rice, rubber, tapioca and oil palm, covering the vast majority of farmers.