The rice price guarantee scheme will begin next month with farmers set to be paid the difference when the price falls below a predetermined benchmark, Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said.
The official was speaking as he led a delegation of officials from the Thai Rice Exporters Association to explain the matter to farmers from the five northeastern provinces of Roi Et, Si Sa Ket, Surin, Yasothon and Maha Sarakham.
The first payments will begin on October 15, he said, adding that the crop price guarantee scheme, to last until October 2020, will be renewed annually throughout this government's entire four-year term.
Earlier, the Thai Government approved a package worth 59 billion baht (2 billion USD) in price guarantees and subsidy schemes for rice and oil palm.
Of the total budget, 13.3 billion baht is for the price guarantee programme for rice, 21.4 billion for oil palm and the remaining 25 billion is to subsidise production costs for rice farmers.
Covering five types of rice, the rice price guarantee scheme will be run by the state-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC).
To be eligible, rice growers must register with the Agriculture Extension Department and the money will be deposited directly into their BAAC accounts.
Jurin said that currently about 4.1 million farms have registered to take part in the programme./. VNA