A Thai man dries paddy rice (Photo: Bangkokpost.com)

Bangkok (VNA) - The Commerce Ministry of Thailand plans to hold talks with the Thai Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) on releasing 900,000 tonnes of hom mali rice to encourage farmers to delay selling their stocks, thus curbing any negative effects on premium rice prices.

The BAAC has set aside more than 80 billion baht (2.56 billion USD) in loans and grants for rice farmers who delay selling their 2017-2018 rice harvest.

Under the loan scheme, 21 billion baht has been offered to delay selling paddy, 3 billion baht earmarked for farmers, 12.5 billion baht to buy paddy to increase rice prices and 47.3 billion baht in grants available to those rice growers signed up for the programme.

The credit package was offered based on average rice prices for the past three years — 10,800 baht a tonne offered for hom mali and glutinous paddy, 7,200 baht per tonne for white rice paddy and 8,500 baht per tonne for Pathum Thani fragrant paddy.

Retail rice farmers are each limited to 300,000 baht in loans, while agriculture cooperatives, farmer clusters and community enterprises are capped at 300 million baht, 20 million baht and 5 million baht, respectively.-VNA