Govt's Bt1,000 per rai scheme met with doubt

assistance to rice farmers
Govt's Bt1,000 per rai scheme met with doubt

A government measure to pay a maximum of Bt15,000 each to 1.8 million families in rural areas as part of an economic stimulus package was met with doubt and scepticism by some farmers and politicians yesterday.
They said that paying Bt1,000 per rai, for up to 15 rai, to rice farmers was not enough to improve their standard of living.

Pathum Thani farmer Somchok Pananil, 53, said he was unsure how this measure would help rice farmers, adding that only some families would benefit.

As for landless farmers, he pointed out that they usually had to rent land at Bt1,000 per rai for farming. He went on to say that the government should first clarify exactly who would benefit from this stimulus - land owners or poor farmers who rent land.

He said that if the government really wanted to help rice farmers, then they should control the rising price of fertiliser and pesticide.

Kanchanaburi farmer Pratin Onnom, 42, also did not think the proposed payment of Bt1,000 per rai would be enough, adding that the government could ensure there was water for irrigation instead.

Meanwhile, Pheu Thai member Pichai Naripthaphan said yesterday Bt1,000 per rai was "too little" compared to the price of rice. To help farmers, the price of rice should be raised to Bt10,000 per tonne.

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