The cabinet on Tuesday approved the rates of financial assistance to be paid to about 300,000 sugar cane growers nationwide, under a subsidy programme that is estimated to require 10 billion baht in state funding.
The cabinet on April 21 agreed in principle to launch the subsidy programme and requested details about the payment rates. The details were submitted and approved by the cabinet at its meeting yesterday, said deputy government spokesperson Rachada Dhnadirek.
The 10-billion-baht budget for this project will be broken down into two tranches, she said.
The first sum of 6.5 billion baht is for all sugar cane growers harvesting their products and supplying them to a factory, while the remaining 3.5 billion baht is earmarked for growers who refrain from burning their sugar cane fields during harvests, an act which helps ease air pollution, she said.
Every sugar cane farmer is entitled to 85 baht per tonne of their harvest, while those agreeing to not burn their sugar cane fields will receive 7 baht extra per tonne of subsidy, she said.
The country's sugar cane harvest this year was lower than expected, mainly due to drought, she said, adding that the entire harvest was expected to amount to 74.89 million tonnes, down from the forecast of 100 million tonnes.
The production costs per tonne rose to 1,419 baht from 1,110 baht.