Rice farmers despair amid low prices

Kneeling and sobbing before a top commerce ministry official, a Phichit farmer appealed to the government on October 30 to help growers suffering from the fall in rice prices to 5,000 baht a tonne, the lowest level in decades. Sanit Kaho, a 63-year-old farmer, held the legs of permanent secretary for commerce Wiboonlasana Ruamraksa, who visited Wangkrod Tai Tambon Administration Organisation in Muang district to meet local authorities, farmers and rice millers to discuss ways to deal with the tumbling price of paddy. Farmer said she wanted the prime minister to help. She can’t afford to sell her Home Mali rice now due to current prices, adding that mills are offering just 5,000 baht per tonne. The crop will be ready to harvest this week, though farmers will not be able to survive with this price, she said. According to the Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn, a new scheme will be proposed at a meeting on October 31 held by the national rice policy committee. 

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