Senate panel: Ditch the rice scheme

The Senate committee on agriculture and cooperatives has advised the next government, after the Feb 2 election, to put an end to the Pheu Thai Party's rice pledging scheme as soon as possible.

Senator Vicharn Sirichai-ekawat, the committee chairman, announced the recommendation at a press conference in the presence of other panel members including senators Pol Lt Gen Yuthana Thaipakdi, Kobkul Pancharoenvorakul and Jitthana Yingthawilapa.

Mr Vicharn said although the rice pledging scheme had helped lift rice prices, and farmers' quality of life, the panel's study showed that over the past two years the scheme had been plagued by widespread corruption having a major impact on social, economic and political conditions.

The committee, therefore, recommended the next government  immediately shut down the scheme.

If it was deemed still necessary to help farmers, the government should opt for other measures such as promoting added value rice and production of good quality rice.

More importantly, the government should pay farmers money due them for the pledged harvests as soon as possible. Many had not received any of the money promised by the government for nearly six months, Mr Vicharn said. 

Mr Vicharn said the Senate committee on agriculture and cooperatives will hold a seminar on "ways out for farmers after the rice pledging scheme" by the end of this week.

The senator said the government had spent more than 800 billion baht on the rice pledging scheme during the past two years but only some groups of farmers had benefited from it.

The committee found there were many leaks in the scheme that had caused much damage to the country, Mr Vicharn said.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 09/01/2014 at 01:10 PM
They are still doing that get out and check for yourself before making statements like this I live in a very big rice producing area and the farmers are lucky to get 11,000 baht per ton. They sell because the PTP have failed to pay them for many months despite many empty promises .
Discussion 2 : 09/01/2014 at 08:40 AM
The rice price increased but how much of that increase did the farmers actually receive? Not as much as they were thinking if the amount of red shirts is anything to go by. Not only that but now the country has massive stockpiles of rice that it has to sell at a loss when it could have been put to good humanitarian use helping the people in the Philippines after that huge typhoon. Still got to laugh eh? This Is Thailand! from Playbook application.
Discussion 3 : 08/01/2014 at 06:34 PM
Did the Senate committee also suggest who should pay for the 800billion loss? I think we all remember the slogan: “Thaksin thinks – PT acts”. They are clearly responsible for this mess. Let them pay for it!
Discussion 4 : 08/01/2014 at 05:45 PM
Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah….stop the corruption and maybe the farmers will have a chance. They are tied of listening to politicians lies and false promises. It is always said, "Farmers feed the country", who in Thailand is feeding the farmers?
Discussion 5 : 08/01/2014 at 05:33 PM
So who will get the blame I doubt it will be the the Thaksin party because with luck they will not be in power.Yet again they walk away smelling of roses.This is why reform has to come before an election.
Discussion 6 : 08/01/2014 at 05:25 PM
I think the country new this would happen ages ago. And what about the 'One tablet" fiasco. Where will Thailand's strong, smart, honest and ethical leaders come from? Come back Dr Anund, please.
Discussion 7 : 08/01/2014 at 05:22 PM
Absolutely!The northern farmers had benefited from the pledging scheme rice.But the other region suffered. one reason the political turmoil flaring up right now.
Discussion 8 : 08/01/2014 at 05:17 PM
"...although the rice pledging scheme had helped lift rice prices, and farmers' quality of life..."...A rare admission for PADocrats..Decrying Populist policies and programs for ordinary people on one hand, and wondering why they cannot get elected…All because their middle men rice miller friends lost a ‘golden goose’…Buy cheap from farmers and sell higher…But it is not them...It is that electoral system which needs reform...Until they are elected and representative of the populace, can they pontificate with validity.
Discussion 9 : 08/01/2014 at 05:17 PM
Will they listen NO
Discussion 10 : 08/01/2014 at 05:11 PM
Absolutely..! The northern farmers had benefited from pledging scheme rice.But the regional other suffered.One for the political turmoil in Thailand

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