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Measures to stabilise rice prices on the cards

The Commerce Ministry is preparing to propose to the National Rice Policy Committee (NRPC) tomorrow measures worth 69 billion baht to stabilise rice prices in the 2023/24 harvest season.

The proposed spending aims to absorb 14 million tonnes of rice during periods of massive supply.

These measures involve providing credit to delay rice sales, consolidating rice, compensation for stock holding and offering 1,000 baht per rai to farmers, benefiting 4.68 million households.

Speaking after a joint meeting with representatives of farmers, Deputy Prime Minister Phumtham Wechayachai said the measures were established after deliberations with farmers, millers and exporters.

These measures are intended to oversee the upcoming rice production, commencing in November.

The proposed measures include credit to delay paddy rice sales, aiming to absorb 3 million tonnes, with a budget of 10.1 billion baht. This involves assistance for storage, paid at 1,500 baht per tonne.

Rice is expected to be stored in farmers’ barns for 1-5 months, from Oct 1 through to Feb 29 next year. Farmers can use their rice as collateral for loans from the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives.

Credit will be offered for rice collection and value addition, targeting 1 million tonnes with a budget of 481 million baht.

The government will also pay interest rate compensation to entrepreneurs who agree to stock their rice purchased, aiming to cover 10 million tonnes with a budget of 2.12 billion.

The state will subsidise 4% interest for stock storage periods lasting 2-6 months, with purchase periods from Nov 1 to March 31 next year.

The government will also support farm management and agricultural development, benefiting 4.68 million households with a subsidy of 1,000 baht per rai, not exceeding 20 rai per household, or a total of 20,000 baht. The budget allocated for this measure is 56.3 billion baht.

“These four measures are considered urgent strategies to stabilise rice prices. The government is confident in managing paddy rice prices for farmers without policy interventions such as rice pledging and income guarantees,” said Mr Phumtham.

Wattanasak Sur-iam, director-general of the Internal Trade Department, estimated paddy rice production for the 2023/24 crop year at 32 million tonnes, with rice paddy from the main crop tallying 25.6 million tonnes, down 6% from the previous crop, and rice paddy production from the off- season crop totalling 6.78 million tonnes, down 12%.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/general/2674746/measures-to-stabilise-rice-prices-on-the-cards QR Code

Published Date: October 31, 2023

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