Thai Government helps farmers stabilise rice prices hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source: AFP/VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Thai government announced on September 1 that it will provide 2.2 billion USD in loans and handouts to farmers to stabilise prices of rice – a staple food that has long played a strategic role in the country’s politics.

Specifically, the Thai Ministry of Commerce will offer 1.57 billion USD in handouts to rice farmers and 633 million USD worth of loans to 3.7 million households. The programme will be carried out from early November to the end of February, 2018.

The announcement came a week after former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra fled into exile ahead of a court verdict on the accusation of her negligence in a rice subsidy scheme that caused losses of billions of USD.

Last year, the government introduced similar short-term loans and cash handouts for rice farmers that cost the State 2.3 billion USD to cover four million households.

After hitting a four-year high earlier this year, the price of Thai 5-percent broken white rice has tumbled by nearly 20 percent over the last two months to 372.5 USD per tonne, its lowest since April.

The domestic and foreign consumption of Thai rice is estimated at 26.4 million tonnes this year compared to the supply of 29.5 million tonnes.-VNA