Palm oil farmers end protest

Palm oil farmers end protest

About 3,000 palm oil growers from eight southern provinces agreed to end their rally in Chumphon’s Tha Sae district early on Thursday, and lift road blocks, after the government promised to buy palm oil nuts at acceptable prices.

The protesters reopened Phetkasem road for traffic in front of Khoa Phang national Park in Tha Sae district. Other groups of palm oil farmers also unblocked the Asian Highway at kilometre makers No 17-18 in tambon Wisai Nua of Chumphon’s Muang district.

The two main routes to the South had been blocked for 10 hours since yesterday by the protesters, who called  on the government to comply with their earlier demand.

The palm oil growers complained that the price for their crop was too low and they could not make a profit. They demanded the state to buy fresh palm oil nuts at 5 baht per kilogramme.

They threatened to prolong their rally if the government failed to comply with the demand.

Deputy Prime Minister for economic matters Kittiratt Na-Ranong on Wednesday afternoon called an urgent meeting of the national palm oil policy committee to find ways out of the problem.

The committee then passed a resolution to buy palm oil nuts at 4-4.35 baht a kilogramme, depending on the nuts’ grade. All palm oil factories will start buying fresh oil palm nuts at the promised prices from today.

The panel’s resolution was read out to the protesters by Chumphon governor Peerasak Hinmuangkao. It was accepted by the palm oil farmers who peacefully dispersed about 2am this morning.

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