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The Government's Rice Pledging Policy

Mr.Boonsong Teriyapirom, Minister of Commerce, clarified the concerns on the Government Rice Pledging Policy, stressing that the policy brings benefits to farmers as;

Firstly, the price of agriculture products will be increased, leading to more income for farmers, even for farmers who have yet joined the government rice pledge scheme since they would  indirectly enjoy a higher market price of rice.

 

The Government has started the rice pledging scheme during the harvesting season of 2011/2012. Since then the price of paddy in domestic market, at rice mills, or in the exporting sector, has been higher than 10,000 Baht which confirms the success of government's Rice Pledging Policy in pushing higher the price of domestic paddy.

Secondly, the Government has to manage the rice stock on hand both in terms of pricing for export and domestic stock, which is an important to national food security. Comparing to the previous government's scheme on "farmer income insurance" which requires more budget to support at around 70-80 billion baht and no rice stock on hand, the current government’s policy is much more effective..

The Government strongly supports the rice pledging scheme which is superior than the "Farmer Income Insurance" of the previous government since more income can be generated directly to farmers.

The total budget spent in this rice scheme was about 300 billion baht which is not more than the budget of the previous government’s farmers’ income insurance scheme. With this amount of 300 billion baht, the Government has got 21 million tons of paddy rice which can later be transformed into 11 million tons of wholegrain rice. Moreover, later this year after government release the stocked rice, 85 billion baht will go back to the Ministry of Finance. Also by the end of 2013, 240-250 billion baht will certainly go back to the Ministry of Finance as well.

So it is certain that the budget spent in this rice scheme will be used wisely and transparently. It may cause government some burden but this budget is not higher than the previous government's annual budget.

Concerning possible corruptions in Agricultural Pledging Programme, particularly Rice Pledging Scheme, Minister Boonsong said that he has ordered all related sectors in Commercial Ministry to prevent the possible corruptions. Every process of pledging will be inspected carefully by the officers from the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC), the Public Warehouse Organization by Ministry of Commerce Thailand, and Marketing Organization for Farmer.

As for plantation in the upcoming season starting at 1 October onwards, the program will have more farmers in the committee from 1 member to 2 members and also assign more polices to inspect every rice mills that joined the scheme in order to prevent doubtful activities in the pledging program.

Mr.Boonsong also commanded to monitor the program activities through the IT system namely setting up CCTV at pledging points and Satellites for cultivated areas to calculate the amount of products that must be comparable with the registered amount. Consequently, the program will be connected by the integrated data from all related ministries.

Moreover, the Government will launch the additional program for the farmers through the establishment of the Rice Producers Federation that Thailand has already consulted with Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. In preliminary, every countries agree to form the organization under the cooperation among the countries in Mekong Subregion that are the great rice-exporting countries in the world with production capacity of 16-17 million tons per year while the amount of world trading is 32 million tons. This project will support all 5 countries to control quantity, quality, pricing and markets.