Rice price scheme renewed

Rice price scheme renewed

Committee approves guarantee into 2021

Rice varieties sold in Pathum Thani. The rice price guarantee offers compensation if market prices fall below the benchmark. Apichit Jinakul
Rice varieties sold in Pathum Thani. The rice price guarantee offers compensation if market prices fall below the benchmark. Apichit Jinakul

The National Rice Policy Committee approved in principle on Thursday the rice price guarantee scheme for the 2020/21 crop year, which is expected to use a budget of 85.2 billion baht.

Of the 85.2 billion baht, 23.5 billion is allotted to price guarantees, with 56 billion allocated to support management and quality development costs for farmers, and 5.72 billion subsidising the interest rate for loans extended to stabilise domestic rice prices.

Rachada Dhanadirek, a deputy government spokesperson, said the annual 2020/21 scheme will be implemented between Sept 1 this year to May 31, 2021.

The guaranteed price will be decided on at the next meeting of the committee. However, she said the price is likely to be on par with what the scheme used in the previous season.

The scheme covers five main types of rice: white rice paddy with 15% moisture, hom mali rice paddy, fragrant Pathum Thani rice paddy with 15% moisture, glutinous rice paddy with 15% moisture and provincial fragrant rice paddy.

The rice price guarantee offers compensation if market prices fall below the benchmark.

Under the scheme in the previous season, farmers were offered 10,000 baht per tonne for white rice paddy with 15% moisture, limited to 30 tonnes per family or 40 rai.

The guaranteed prices were set at 15,000 baht a tonne for Thai hom mali rice paddy, limited to 14 tonnes per family or 40 rai; 11,000 baht per tonne of fragrant Pathum Thani rice paddy with 15% moisture for a limit of 25 tonnes per family or 40 rai; 12,000 baht a tonne for glutinous rice paddy with 15% moisture, with a limit of 16 tonnes or 40 rai; and 14,000 baht a tonne for provincial fragrant rice paddy, with a limit of 16 tonnes per family or 40 rai.

Ms Rachada said the committee also endorsed in principle measures to stabilise the domestic rice price, with a target of 7 million tonnes of paddy, offering 36 billion baht in loans.

The loan scheme will cover farmers who agree to delay their paddy, agricultural cooperatives who agree to gather rice and add value to the grain, and the 3% interest rate subsidy programme for rice traders who agree to hold their stocks for about 2-6 months.

The loan scheme for farmers who agree to delay paddy sales will cost an estimated 19.8 billion baht, and the loan scheme for agricultural cooperatives to gather rice and add value to rice will cost 15.6 billion.

The 3% interest rate subsidy programme for rice traders is estimated to cost the government 610 million baht.

According to Ms Rachada, the committee also approved in principle 1,000 baht per rai per rice farmer family with a limit of 20 rai or 20,000 baht per family, aiming to assist 4.31 million families.

This scheme is estimated to cost some 56 billion baht.


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