Uttaradit farmers block road in rice rally

Around 2,000 Uttaradit province farmers owed money under the government's rice-pledging scheme blocked a highway on Monday morning, demanding a meeting with caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong.

The farmers, led by Na In agricultural cooperative manager Jeerasak Panphet, parked around 20 e-tan farmer trucks across the road connecting Uttaradit and Phitsanulok provinces. 

They also put up a tent and banners demanding that government pay 3.41 billion baht in debt owed to around 26,000 farmers in the province.

Mr Jeerasak said Uttaradit farmers sold rice worth more than four million baht to the government's rice-pledging scheme, but have so far only received 780 million baht in payments.

The farmers said they were only willing to discuss their requests with Mr Kittiratt because caretaker Deputy Finance Minister Thanusak Lekuthai had already broken a promise to pay farmers by Jan 15.

The group also wants government to pay subsidy on maize, as was earlier promised by ministers but has yet to materialise.

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