Cash transfers to 10m farmers start

Cash transfers to 10m farmers start

Alongkorn (right): Help for 10m this month
Alongkorn (right): Help for 10m this month

The Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) will on Friday begin transferring 5,000 baht to the accounts of farmers who qualified for the government's handout initiative to help those financially affected by Covid-19.

Ten million qualified farmers will start receiving the handout today as the fund is distributed gradually this month, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.

Ministry adviser, Alongkorn Ponlaboot, yesterday said it has verified information provided by farmers when they applied for the welfare benefit, noting the data on 8.33 million qualified farmers has been forwarded to the bank.

The cabinet on April 28 approved a 150-billion-baht fund to help 10 million farmers affected by Covid-19's economic repercussions.

They will have 5,000 baht transferred to their accounts every month until July.

"About one million registered farmers will receive the money [today]," Mr Alongkorn said. "The rest will get theirs on other days.

"The bank will transfer the money to one million farmers a day," he added. "All 10 million farmers will get the money by [the end of] this month."

Mr Alongkorn said that a second group, comprising 1.67 million farmers, is still being verified.

He said the status of a third group, consisting of farmers who requested more than 5,000 baht per month, is still pending as their request will need government approval. The third group claims that some farmers face technical problems in growing crops. It is not known how much additional help they have sought or whether it will encompass technical assistance.

Mr Alongkorn said the ministry has set up a centre to handle appeals from those who did not qualify for the handout.

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