Rice farmers seek help with costs

Rice farmers on Saturday asked for help to control their cultivation costs in a meeting with members of the National Council for Peace and Order(NCPO).

Prasit Boonchoey, president of the Thai Rice Farmers Association, said before the meeting that he wanted the junta to suspend plans for long-term solutions that could otherwise have severe impact on farmers.

Instead, he said, he wanted the NCPO to focus on cultivation costs and rice prices and introduce immediate assistance for growers.

He also said he expected the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives to clear all overdue payments to farmers for pledged rice within this month, as the bank already received sufficient funds from the Government Savings Bank.

Gen Chatchai Sarikalaya, assistant army chief and deputy chief of the NCPO supervising economic affairs, chaired the meeting at the Royal Thai Army auditorium on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road in Bangkok. Participants included representatives of government agencies and rice growers' organisations.

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