Thailand: THB3.12bn aid package for drought-hit farmers, tapioca prices rise

  • The cabinet on 24 Feb 20 approved a THB3.12bn aid package to help farmers hurt by drought.
  • According to Rachada Dhanadirek, a deputy government spokeswoman, the latest package sponsored by the government’s central budget covers 538,316 eligible farmers in 19 provinces. The aid package mainly covers five projects.
  • Among them is a scheme to promote farmers growing crops that use less water, which will cost THB348mn and affect 150,000 families.
  • Another is a scheme to maintain the quality and volume of rice for the 2020/2021 crop year. This will cost THB1.74bn, covering 6.32 million rai of farmland. The government projects 827,000 rice-farming families will join this project.
  • One more is a scheme to promote the raising of poultry and tilapia. According to Ms Rachada, some THB260mn of the total budget will go to promote farmers raising tilapia, with 50,000 families expected to participate in the project. The remaining budget will be allocated to promote farmers raising poultry and freshwater prawn.
  • Farmers will be allowed to join only one scheme, while farmers who own land rights are eligible for the water-saving and the rice crop schemes.
  • The cabinet also approved allowing the farm aid fund to extend THB538mn worth of no-interest loans to farmers to build water supply for their farmland, she said.
  • This project is scheduled to be implemented between 2020 and 2025, with a two-year grace period.
  • Meanwhile, it was announced that tapioca prices are expected to rise as a result of the drought which cut production nationwide by 10-20%. To make things worse, neighbouring countries’ tapioca production numbers have also been hit by the drought and the cassava mosaic disease.
  • Domestic demand for tapioca also increased thanks to the government’s policy promoting gasohol E20. E20 is 20% ethanol blended with 80% unleaded petrol.
  • China is the biggest export market for tapioca followed by Indonesia, Taiwan and Japan. Boonchai Srichaiyongpanich, president of the Thai Tapioca Trade Association, said that tapioca exports are expected to drop by 30% in 2020 or about THB30bn from THB100bn observed in 2019, adding that the drop may hit THB50bn or 50% if there is no rainfall over the next two months (i.e. till late Apr 20).

External Link : https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1864944/farmers-hit-by-drought-get-b3-12bn

External Link : https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1864979/drought-to-hike-prices-of-tapioca

25-Feb-2020


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