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THAILAND: Ministry seeks THB 10 billion to help rubber growers
The Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry plans to seek a budget of more than THB 10 billion to help rubber growers and tappers cope with the dropping price of rubber.
“We intend to compensate them more than we did last year,” Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Grisada Boonrach said. Last year, 140,000 families of rubber growers and tappers received THB 1,500 per rai (0.16 hectares) for a maximum of 15 rai. Those who registered with the Rubber Authority of Thailand (RAT) were eligible for the financial help. “Either the compensation per rai or the number of rai eligible for compensation will increase,” Grisada said. The minister was speaking after holding a meeting with representatives of the country’s five big rubber exporters.
According to Grisada, the private sector will be asked to designate specific spots where rubber cup lump will be bought at THB 35 per kg, rubber field latex at THB 37 per kg and crude rubber sheets at THB 40 per kg. At present, the per kg price for cup lump is between THB 12 and THB 14, for field latex between THB 28 and THB 31 and for crude rubber sheets between THB 32 and THB 35. “With the Rubber Development Fund, RAT should be able to cover the difference in price,” Grisada said, adding that his ministry will also try to boost the price of rubber by increasing domestic demand. “We plan to propose that rubber-based bedding be manufactured for state schools and hospitals,” he said, adding that relevant government agencies have already been asked to study the need for such bedding.