He said state officials were holding talks with the rubber growers’ representatives, asking the protesters to allow traffic to pass through their blockade of the highway and the southern rail line.
People travelling to and from the South were now facing severe inconvenience, he said.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has ordered Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew, the national police chief, to refrain from using force and to hold talks with the protesting rubber farmers, asking that they peacefully end their blockade of the highway and railway, Mr Suporn said.
At a discussion with representatives of the protesters on Monday, he said some rubber growers accepted the government’s proposal that the price for smoked rubber sheets be guaranteed at 80 baht per kilogramme. However, several other groups of planters demanded a guarantee price of 100 baht, and decided to continue their protest rally.
Mr Suporn believed that the problem would be solved before the Sept 3 deadline set by unhappy rubber planters, who have threatened to close all main highways across the kingdom and to hold a mass protest in front of Government House if their demands are not met.
Lt Gen Paradorn Pattanatabut, secretary-general of the National Security Council, said it is not necessary to impose the Internal Security Act to ensure peace and order during the rubber farmers' protest in Nakhon Si Thammarat at this time.
He was confident that police were capable of keeping the situation under control.
Nattawut Saikuar, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives and core member of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), said the rubber farmers' protest can be seen as two issues.
The first is the farmers' hardship, which the government understands and is ready to listen to their demands on. Relevant agencies have been instructed to come up with measures to ease their troubles, he said.
"The other issue is about some groups of people trying to turn the protest into a political agenda to put pressure on the government," Mr Nattawut said.
"If Mr Abhist Vejjajiva [the opposition leader] is sincere about solving the people's problems he can work with the government in finding solutions and become the voice of the public."
Labour Minister Chalerm Yubamrung said he believed the rubber growers' rally will be prolonged.
"From my assessment as an officer who used to supervise the police force, I assess that this mob won't end anytime soon and that this mob is a set up," said Mr Chalerm, who was a police captain in the Crime Suppression Division before entering politics many years ago.
He said previous protests staged by people in the South did not end easily.
"There are reports that the protesters will soon disperse, but from what I've been tolds the mob will definitely enter [Bangkok] on Sept 3," he said.
"I feel for the police and I don't want to situation to worsen, because problems are there to be solved, not to cause worry."
Video by Patipat Janthong
Aat Pisarnwanich, director of the International Trade Study Centre at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said the government should intervene in the rubber price.
"I don't think the government has enough budget funds to entirely subsidise rubber, but it can subsidise some of it. For example, if the actual price stands at 70 baht and the farmers want it to be 80 baht, the government could pay for the 10 baht difference," Mr Aat said.
The rubber subsidy could be implemented for a year first, and the government would have time to come up with a long-term plan to deal with the problem of low rubber prices, he said.
On Monday, a meeting between Mr Suporn and rubber planters was held in Nakhon Si Thammarat. They agreed that the government would buy raw rubber sheets at 80 baht/kg, rubber cup lump at 40 baht/kg and latex at 70 baht/kg.
However, the protesters want the government to buy rubber sheets at 100 baht/kg.