Cabinet gives nod to trio of price guarantees

Cabinet gives nod to trio of price guarantees

A farmer harvests tapioca. The cabinet on Tuesday approved 14.1 billion baht worth of price guarantees for tapioca, corn and rubber, to be handled by the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives. (Photo by Sonthanaporn Inchan)
A farmer harvests tapioca. The cabinet on Tuesday approved 14.1 billion baht worth of price guarantees for tapioca, corn and rubber, to be handled by the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives. (Photo by Sonthanaporn Inchan)

The cabinet on Tuesday approved price guarantee programmes for corn, tapioca and rubber with total spending of 14.1 billion baht.

According to Rachada Dhandirek, deputy government spokeswoman, 9.78 billion and 1.91 billion baht, respectively, will be allocated to fund tapioca and corn price guarantees for the 2020-21 harvest season.

The remaining 2.4 billion baht is earmarked for the second phase of the rubber price guarantee scheme for the 2019-20 season.

The rubber price programme is expected to begin some time between now and November, with the guaranteed price set at a maximum of 60 baht per kg for raw rubber sheet.

The state-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) will be tasked with handling the price guarantee scheme.

The government introduced the first phase of the rubber price guarantee scheme with a budget of 24.3 billion baht in October last year, helping 1.7 million farmers covering 17 million rai of rubber plantation.

For corn, the price guarantee is set at 2.50 baht per kg, limited to 100 tonnes per family, while the price guarantee was set at 8.50 baht per kg for corn with 14.5% moisture content, with a limit of 30 rai per family.

The tapioca scheme will run from Nov 1, 2020 to May 31, 2021, while the corn price guarantee plan will run from Nov 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021.

In a related development, the cabinet approved 1.15 billion baht worth of loans from the BAAC for farmers to upgrade the productivity and quality of tapioca.

Each farmer can borrow 230,000 baht. An estimated 5,000 farmers are eligible for the loan scheme.

Farmers are required to repay within five years at annual interest of 3.5%, while the government will subsidise them at a 3% rate.

The cabinet also approved loans worth 1.5 million baht from the BAAC for agriculture cooperatives to buy corn and increase value.

The government will compensate them at 3% annual interest.


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