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Thailand : Prayuth asks farmers to forget rallies

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  • Thailand : Prayuth asks farmers to forget rallies

    Prayuth asks farmers to forget rallies

    Prayuth Chan-ocha appealed on Friday for no protests by farmers, saying the military regime is trying to solve sagging farm prices.

    "I'm not afraid [of protests] but I don't want to see a waste [of your time]," he said in his weekly Returning Happiness to the People TV programme.

    "The country is moving forward. Traffic on the roads is flowing. Protests mean you have to sleep under a net on the streets. I know you're suffering and we're putting all our efforts into helping you."

    The plea by the leader of the May 22 coup came as the new crop season was beginning. Rice farmers last rallied shortly after the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) seized power, demanding overdue payments for rice pledged under the flagship policy of the ousted government. The military responded promptly by finding some 90 billion baht.

    Rice farmers are not the only ones unhappy with their financial situation. Rubber farmers are reaping the consequences of the planting spree they undertook a decade ago when the world rubber market was booming. Those trees have now matured and supply has outstripped demand, pushing rubber prices to a five-year low.

    Gen Prayuth suggested farmers air their grievances in other ways including sending complaints to local officials and to the Damrongtham Centre set up by the Interior Ministry to handle all of the problems people experience.

    He said the populist rice-pledging policy, which paid farmers 40-50% more than market rates, had to come to an end as it had caused long-term financial damage to the country.

    Other measures instead were needed to help farmers, such as cutting production costs, adding more value to farm products, and ensuring fairer treatment of farmers by middlemen.

    "Fair deals are the most important. Middlemen should not think only about reaping more profits. You should have a heart for the poor," he said in the pre-recorded statement which came with a warning:

    "Don't let us force you [to treat farmers fairly]. The middlemen and related businesses should sacrifice for the country."

    The army chief also called for patience as the administration sets out to improve the performance of loss-making state enterprises, saying the attempt would have to continue into the term of the new government to be formed after an election next year.

    "I think this is a transitional period which could take three to six months to fine-tune their future direction," he said. "It does not mean the problems will be resolved within three, six, nine or 12 months. We have to set the direction for them to go after 12 months, or into 2015 when we have a new election."

    Plans to move state enterprises out of the red include the possibility of opening up some troubled agencies to private-sector partners.

    "Some [operations] could be given to the private sector to partially handle. But it has to take into account security and services provided to the people," said Gen Prayuth, who chairs the State Enterprise Policy Commission, better known as the superboard.

    Gen Prayuth moved his weekly programme on Friday to 8.15pm from 5pm to allow Channel 7 to broadcast live the volleyball match between Thailand and the Dominican Republic. The Thai women won the match 3-1.

  • #2
    Thai junta flip-flops under farmer fears
    Anadolu Agency correspondent for Ankara Bahattin Gonultas contributed to this story.
    27 August 2014

    Junta reversing original policy of stopping all direct subsidies, now helping to stabilize rubber prices and extending millions in loans.

    BANGKOK juntarubber farmers from southern Thailand who obtained a promise from the military Tuesday that the country's 210,000 ton stockpile of rubberNational Council for Peace and Orderrubberjunta representative.


    Yingluck's former government was buying rubber at $3.2 a kilo - far above market prices - in an effort to placate rural supporters, but since overthrowing the government May 22, the junta had stopped all direct subsidies, even though the cost to produce a kilo of rubber is $1.85 - 6 cents above market price. At the start of the year, the market price was US$2.45.

    Rubberjunta stopped all public assistance to farmers, be they rice or rubber tree.

    In addition to the promise to refrain from putting rubber stocks on the world market, the junta also announced Tuesday a $186 million 10-year budget to stabilize rubber prices and conduct research on rubberjunta


    • #3
      Had Yingluck about-turned like that the yellow shirts would have sent the NACC in shouting massive corruption from the bloke in Dubai


      • #4
        Thai Farmers Threaten Protest in Defiance of Martial Law
        Supunnabul Suwannakij and Suttinee Yuvejwattana

        Thai junta leader Prayuth Chan-Ocha is bracing for the country's biggest public protests since a coup four months ago, as farmers frustrated by falling prices threaten to take to the streets in defiance of martial law.

        Prayuth, the 60-year-old army chief who also took the post of prime minister, told farmers last week that they may have to sell their rubber "on Mars" amid a global glut and urged them not to stage protests or demand hand outs from the government. He has pledged to quicken state spending, promote investment and create jobs to spur economic growth.

        "We have suffered with falling prices and lower income for so many years without much help," Perk Lertwangpong, head of the Rubber Holders Cooperatives Federation of Thailand, said by phone from Chanthaburi province, 245 kilometers (152 miles) southeast of Bangkok. "With prices at this level, we aren't afraid of martial law. We'll gather to fight."

        Prayuth's refusal to support prices risks angering the thousands of farmers who played a pivotal role in toppling the government of Yingluck Shinawatra when they left their farms in the nation's southern provinces late last year to join protests in Bangkok. More than 10,000 rubber farmers may attempt to cut export supply by shutting down processing plants, after prices fell to the lowest level since 2008, Perk said.

        "They indirectly paved the way for the military to take over," said Ambika Ahuja, a London-based analyst at Eurasia Group. "Now, they feel they did not get any share of power or even an ability to negotiate with the current regime."

        Rural Voters While agriculture accounts for about 8 percent of Thailand's gross domestic product, rural residents make up almost 87 percent of Thailand's 67 million population. Yingluck won a parliamentary majority in 2011 after pledging to buy riceExport prices


        • #5
          Yingluck gets Rice .

          Prayuth Rubber .


          • #6
            Apparently the Chinese have been stockpiling the stuff and now have decided to use it, so their lack of demand for imports has resulted in the fall of prices. SO we need to burn rubber as best we can so that demand rises and the therefore the price


            • #7
              A few years ago, when the rubber price were in the doldrums, a huge warehouse full of the stuff burned down . . . Oddly enough prices increased and the owners received insurance compensation and still had enough rubber to supply.

              Lucky, lucky, lucky


              • #8
                Originally posted by Panama Hat View Post
                A few years ago, when the rubber price were in the doldrums, a huge warehouse full of the stuff burned down . . . Oddly enough prices increased and the owners received insurance compensation and still had enough rubber to supply.

                Lucky, lucky, lucky
                With cup rubber at 21bt per kg, it's no wonder tappers are in short supply. A few years ago it was worth making sheet, but not anymore.
                The junta will not underwrite losses like Yingluck did, so it's to hoped China and others can manufacture and sell enough goods to bring prices back.


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