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Phumtham Wechayachai Announces Co-Payment Scheme to Support 4 Million Rice Farmers in Thailand

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In a groundbreaking move, the government announced its intention to roll out a co-payment scheme designed to aid over 4 million rice-farming households, specifically targeting fertiliser costs. Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai, speaking after the national rice management policy committee meeting, shared some optimistic news: this year’s rice prices are taking a positive turn compared to last year. This encouraging trend has paved the way for new initiatives to support farmers.

Traditionally, the government has extended generous subsidies to farmers, prompting them to seek better production techniques to slash costs. Recently, they’ve introduced an ambitious fertiliser project, with the government committing to cover half of the expenses.

The implementation of this initiative will be facilitated by the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives through a specialized mobile app, ensuring that every farmer can access it. To address concerns over recent fertiliser price hikes, suppliers will be invited to join the program, promoting price standardization.

Mr. Phumtham elaborated on the fertiliser formulas, which are expected to boost crop yields while also alleviating the burden of high costs. This innovative approach aims to tackle some of the financial challenges faced by farmers head-on.

During the meeting, Mr. Phumtham conveyed that the committee had given its initial nod to the co-payment fertiliser scheme. The program will offer financial assistance for both chemical and organic fertilizers, up to 500 baht per rai, with a cap of 20 rai per household. This is exclusively for farmers registered with the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), which currently accounts for an impressive 4.68 million households.

To bring this vision to life, the government is setting aside 29.9 billion baht. Mr. Phumtham anticipates that DAE will submit the budget proposal to the cabinet for approval within this month. If all goes as planned, the funds will be distributed to farmers in time for the 2024/2025 rice crop season.

This initiative not only underscores the government’s commitment to sustaining the agricultural sector but also offers a practical solution to the rising costs that have been a significant burden on farmers. With better prices and substantial support underway, rice farmers have much to look forward to in the coming seasons.


  1. Anna Leigh June 14, 2024

    Wow, this initiative sounds like a much-needed relief for rice farmers. Kudos to the government for stepping up!

    • Arun June 14, 2024

      It’s a double-edged sword though. Over-reliance on government aid could discourage innovation.

      • Anna Leigh June 14, 2024

        True, but balancing immediate needs with long-term solutions is key. Farmers need help now!

      • Prof. Jakram Dipat June 15, 2024

        Arun makes a strong point. Dependency on subsidies can lead to inefficiencies in the market.

    • NatureLover123 June 14, 2024

      Agreed, Anna! Plus, the program aims to promote sustainable practices, which could benefit the environment in the long run.

      • Nita R. June 14, 2024

        Do we have any assurance that these new fertiliser formulas are safe for the environment though?

      • Anna Leigh June 15, 2024

        Good question, Nita! I hope there’s thorough testing involved.

  2. Paul Jensen June 14, 2024

    I think the government should focus more on tech integration instead of subsidies. Give farmers tools to innovate!

    • Sumanth June 14, 2024

      Tech integration is not a silver bullet. Many farmers might not have the education to use high-tech solutions effectively.

    • TechieTom June 14, 2024

      That’s where training comes in. Government and private sectors could offer educational programs.

      • Paul Jensen June 15, 2024

        Exactly, Tom! Education should go hand in hand with technology. This could be a game-changer.

      • Sumanth June 15, 2024

        Fair point. A blend of both approaches might be the most effective.

  3. GreenThumbz June 14, 2024

    Will this help small-scale farmers or just the big players?

    • Ravi June 14, 2024

      From what I understand, the cap is at 20 rai per household, which should provide a fair chance for smaller farms too.

    • EcoWarrior June 15, 2024

      But will smaller farmers be able to navigate the app and bureaucracy as easily as the bigger ones?

    • GreenThumbz June 15, 2024

      That’s a significant concern, EcoWarrior. Accessibility is crucial for true success.

  4. Tim W. June 14, 2024

    Government should stop meddling in markets. Free markets solve supply and demand more efficiently.

    • Pratik Guru June 14, 2024

      In theory, yes, but agriculture is often a victim of market volatility. Subsides can provide stability.

    • LeftWingLarry June 15, 2024

      Letting markets decide is what got us into this mess. Corporations manipulate prices at the expense of the little guy.

  5. FarmerJoe June 15, 2024

    As a small farmer, any help is appreciated. Fertiliser cost has been killing us this season.

    • CitySlicker99 June 15, 2024

      Glad to hear from a farmer! Hope this new scheme works well for you.

      • FarmerJoe June 15, 2024

        Thanks, CitySlicker99. Time will tell, but I’m cautiously optimistic.

  6. Barb C. June 15, 2024

    Instead of subsidies, why not invest in research for more efficient farming methods?

    • Niko June 15, 2024

      That’s a valid point, Barb. Long-term solutions should definitely include research and development.

  7. GlobalPerspective June 15, 2024

    Other countries have similar programs. It’s about time Thailand stepped up.

    • Xiufei Jiang June 15, 2024

      Yes, but implementation can be challenging. Let’s see how effectively they roll it out.

  8. Leo D. June 15, 2024

    Are the fertiliser suppliers going to hike up prices knowing the government will cover half?

    • SpiritWolf June 15, 2024

      That’s a cynical view, but not unfounded. Price monitoring will be essential.

    • Tara L. June 15, 2024

      Agreed, SpiritWolf. The government needs to ensure there’s no price gouging.

  9. Sophie M. June 15, 2024

    Why is the gov focusing only on rice farmers? What about other crops?

    • Patel R. June 15, 2024

      Rice is a staple and crucial to the economy. But yes, attention to other crops would be nice.

    • Sophie M. June 15, 2024

      Exactly, Patel. Diversity in support is essential for a balanced agricultural sector.

  10. Jules June 15, 2024

    What’s the catch? Government programs always come with strings attached.

    • Marcus G. June 15, 2024

      The article doesn’t mention any, but skepticism is healthy. Always read the fine print.

  11. RuralLife June 15, 2024

    I hope this program actually follows through. Hopes have been dashed too many times before.

  12. Trent B. June 15, 2024

    This could have a huge positive impact if executed well. Monitoring will be key though.

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