A rice field in Narathiwat province, Thailand (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) – The Government of Thailand has approved a programme to help farmers reduce second crop rice planting of 2018 and grow other plants instead.

A sum of 1.7 billion THB (52.4 million USD) will be allocated from the state budget to support farmers in 53 out of 77 provinces and cities, in a bid to cut down 24,000ha of rice farmland in 2018. Accordingly, rice farmers will receive 2,000 THB (61 USD) per rai (1 rai = 0.16ha).

Earlier, the Thai Government set a target of reducing rice output to 27.2 million tonnes compared to the annual average output of 33 million tonnes. Rice farmland was also adjusted down to 60.6 million rai from the current 68 million rai.

About 12 percent of the country’s total cultivation areas are expected to grow other plants such as green bean, soybean, organic vegetables, sugarcane, cassava and raise livestock using advanced technology.

The Thai Government has worked to lower rice output, mainly in sub-crops to encourage farmers to grow other plants under the agricultural restructuring plan, which is part of the national food strategy.-VNA