The cabinet on Tuesday approved 55 billion baht worth of measures to stabilise paddy rice prices, as the government seeks to support farmers hurt by low prices.
The measures consist mainly of loans to farmers to delay sales of paddy rice for five months to the end of February, until prices are more favourable, government spokesman Chai Wacharonke told a press briefing.
The government expects 3 million tonnes of paddy rice to be harvested during the five-month period, he said.
There are also loans for farmers’ groups to intervene in the paddy rice market, he added.
The national rice policy committee last week rejected an earlier proposal by the Ministry of Commerce for support measures worth 69 billion baht to stabilise prices for the 2023-24 harvest season.
The committee chaired by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin told the ministry to revise the budget and hold off on a proposal to offer 1,000 baht per rai to farmers, which requires spending of up to 56.3 billion baht.
The Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry has said that up to 600 agricultural cooperatives have the potential to assist rice farmers in storing their produce at the beginning of the harvest season.