Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha said the government would try its best to ensure that rice farmers get an average of 10,000 baht for a tonne of paddy they sell, but, at the same time, he begged for understanding for farmers that the government had to take care of people throughout the country and not just farmers.
He noted that there are still about 10 million tonnes of unsold rice held in storage which were bought by the previous government under the rice pledging scheme. What will happen if the rice in storage are released into the market? asked the prime minister as he asked farmers to have patience, saying that the government has been trying to solve their problem.
He said that the government could not just give the farmers 15,000 baht for each tonne of their paddy as the previous government did because that will hurt the economy and it is also impossible because there is still a huge stockpile of unsold rice in warehouses across the country.
The prime minister attributed rice price slump to a few main factors: rice price slump is a global problem; huge amount of unsold rice left in storage; and many countries have produced rice.
He also borrowed an advice from the late King that farmers should also plant other crops if they suffer loss from rice cultivation.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)