In order to slow down the sales in the upcoming harvest season, the Rice Policy and Management Committee has approved a budget of  Bt23 billion  to the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) to be provided as soft loans to the farmers to encourage farmers to keep their rice crop in their own warehouses.

After a meeting, Chatchai Sarikulya, Commerce Minister General said that this is a measure to hold back 2 million tonnes of paddy /rice from market especially in the Northern and Northeastern regions with a aim that this will not decrease the market prices in coming harvest season beginning in the next month.

Under the programme BAAC will provide farmers a loan amounting to 90% of their crop value which will save the farmers from interest burden and from extra costs related to rice sales.

Charoen Laothamatas, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said this measure should keep the paddy price of hom mali (jasmine rice) at Bt15,000-Bt16,000 a tonne, and paddy sticky rice at Bt 13,000.

Upcoming harvest season is expected to harvest about 6-7 million tones of paddy.

To manage stock of white rice in the government stockpiles, the government has decided to release the white rice through various methods like auctions, government-to-government deal.

Also Thailand is expecting to join in bidding for sales to the Philippines, which should be opened soon.

Paddy white rice is currently trading at about Bt 8,000 a tonne, he added.