The government is committed to ramping up the rice megafarm scheme this year, for which it provides soft loans, machinery and agricultural equipment to farmers in order to cut production costs and raise productivity. The scheme will cover 1.05 million rai of related farmland. Chutima Bunyapraphasara, the newly-appointed Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister, said the rice megafarm scheme will be developed and run this year on three different farming models based on different geographical locations and demand from participating farmers. The megafarm project implemented last year entails participating farmers pooling their rice farmland together into one large plot, after which modern equipment, including harvesting machinery, is deployed. Participating farmers can borrow up to 5 million baht at 0.01% interest from the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, while the Commerce Ministry is responsible for the marketing and sales of the rice and finding buyers.