According to the sources, it has been reported that the Thailand’s government announced measures worth around $285 million to help desperate rice farmers grappling with drought and low prices for their crop. The Thailand, the world’s second largest rice exporter after India, is facing what some experts say it’s worst drought in decades. It has crimped production but has not pushed up prices as the country has about 12 million tonnes of rice in storage that it is trying to offload, the legacy of a scheme by the previous administration to support rural areas. Further, the prices of rice have also been hit as the economy slows in China, the world’s top rice importer.
Further, as in of the statements, it has been indicated that the rice farmers are pressuring the military government since last several months, to do help as there is a fall in prices which has plunged many farmers into debt. It was also demanded that the government to do more to manage water reserves across the country which has dipped below 2015 levels. Therefore, in view of these situations, the measures have been announced by the country’s rice management committee worth around 10 billion baht ($285 million) which include plans to assist farmers in rice production.
Furthermore, under this policy, the committee issued a statement that 6.76 billion baht of the total would go towards stabilizing rice prices through soft loans for farmers who store paddy. So, therefore, the government-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) will approve loans of up to 300,000 baht ($8,415) to farmers who store rice to curb supply. Meanwhile, the domestic and international demand for Thai paddy this year will stand at around 25 million tonnes as informed by the committee .It also expects output of 27.17 million tonnes in 2016 as compared to an average of about 30 million tonnes of paddy in recent years. Further, the Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha also advised the farmers to grow less rice in view of limited availability of water resources.