The Thai Ministry of Commerce will propose, to the National Rice Policy and Management Committee this Wednesday, a 4-point measure to stabilise rice prices through the stockpiling of about 14 million tonnes of paddy for up to 5 months before the unmilled grain is released onto the market when the prices are right.
The harvest season for the 2023-24 rice crop will start in November in Thailand.
Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai said Saturday that the measure was worked out by the ministry after it had taken opinions and suggestions from all stakeholders, among them rice farmers, millers and exporters.
First, farmers and farmers’ cooperatives will be asked to keep their paddy stock for 1-5 months, with the government providing them a subsidy of 1,500 baht per tonne, 1,000 baht for cooperatives and 500 baht for the farmers. The paddy in stock will be sold to millers when the price is deemed to be right.
Second, warehouse or silo operators will be asked to stock about 10 million tonnes of paddy for 2-6 months, with the government agreeing to shoulder their interest payments of up to 4% for the duration of the stockpiling.
Third, the government will shoulder interest payments of 3.85% for 15 months on behalf of individuals or cooperatives for stocking one million tonnes of paddy.
Finally, Phumtham said the government will help rice farmers reduce their production costs by granting each household a 1,000 baht subsidy for the rice harvest for each 0.16 hectares, but not exceeding 3.2 hectares.