Subsidy, soft loans for rice growers

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) is considering a proposed "cultivation subsidy" and soft loans to help rice growers.

Assistant army chief Gen Chatchai Sarikalya, deputy chief of the NCPO supervising economic affairs, had a meeting with representatives of government organisations, rice millers and rice growers to discuss assistance for farmers at the Army Club on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road in Bangkok Wednesday morning.

After the meeting, Gen Chatchai said that participants agreed with idea of a "cultivation subsidy" and soft loans for rice growers  nationwide in the 2014/2015 crop season.

The subsidy was set at 500 baht per rai (1,600 square metres) for up to 15 rai (24,000 square metres) per family, based on rice growers' estimated cultivation costs of about 4,000 baht per rai.

The Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives will arrange for the low-interest loans.

Gen Chatchai said these measures would be proposed to NCPO chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha on Wednesday evening. If he gave approval they could be implemented right away.

Earlier, Gen Prayuth announced the end of rice price intervention schemes -- a reference to the previous government's rice-pledging scheme and the rice price insurance schemes of past governments.

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