Illustrative image (Photo: velonews.competitor.com)

Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand will purchase 200,000 tonnes of rubber directly from growers in its southern provinces at up to 60 THB (1.65 USD) per kilogramme to provide assistance for the farmers suffering from the price slump.

The price nearly doubles the current market price of 35 THB (0.96 USD), which is at a seven-year low.

It is intended to help farmers over the remaining three months of rubber tapping season, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha announced the decision after a cabinet meeting on January 12, adding that the government will not buy from cooperatives.

The earmarked budget for the programme is about 12 billion THB, or 330 million USD, which will be drawn from, the central budget for emergency purposes. State agencies will also contribute their own budgets to buy rubber.

During the next three months, rubber output is estimated at around 600,000-800,000 tonnes.

On January 10, the Thai Prime Minister ordered eight ministries to use their own budgets to buy rubber, a move to ease the pressure from the Southern Rubber Grower Network on the government amid the price slump.

The association threatened to go on a huge strike in Bangkok if the government cannot find solutions for their demands.

Thailand produces 4.7 million tonnes per year while local demand was only 1.4 million tonnes. The government is considering a plan to boost rubber usage within the country by 30-50 percent.-VNA