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  • 'Thai rice sector may be heading for disaster'

    Rubber Farmer Self-Immolates As Crop Price PlungesPithakchai Kongthongkam, 31, doused his body with petrol and lit himself on fire at his home in Thoong Song district yesterday, police say.

    Mr. Pithakchai's widow, Sujitra Srisawang, told police that her husband was distressed by the recent drop in the rubber prices, which threatened his livelihood as a rubber farmer.





    Ms. Sujitra added that her husband was forced to borrow money from neighbours and employers to take care of the family. "It's likely that my husband was so stressed he decided to kill himself," Ms. Sujitra said.

    However, officers at Kapang Police Station said Mr. Pithakchai was recently arrested by police and charged with drug abuse, which may have played a role in his suicide.

    While the motive behind Mr. Pithakchai's suicide remains unclear, the drop in rubber prices has caused a genuine crisis for rubber farmers in southern Thailand, whose livelihoods depend on the crop.

    Late last year, southern rubber farmers protested the government at the time and requested a guaranteed price of 80-100 baht per kilogram for their crops. Although many rubber farmers supported the 22 May military coup that ousted the former government, Thailand's new military regime has not taken up the proposal either.

    Instead of subsidies, the junta has promised sustained "structural" measures to solve the problem, such as providing soft loans for famers to purchase fertilizer.

    However, some economists have expressed concern that the causes of the rubber price crisis may be too complicated for the military junta to understand.

    "I cannot see any clear direction from the new government to solve the plunging robber price," said Withee Supithak, president of Federation of Industry of Thailand's southern division, "I am not sure how much [military officers] will understand the problem about rubber price, because it's an issue that many previous governments tried to solve but failed."

    He added, "It's a really complex issue. It will take a long time, continuity in policies, and serious enforcement to solve the problem."

    en.khaosod.co.th
    http://thailandchatter.com/showthrea...ll=1#post45112

  • #2
    NCPO, PM launches long-term and short-term measures to arrest falling rubber prices in Nakhon Si Thammarat

    NAKHON SI THAMMARAT, 30 August 2014 (NNT)
    http://thailandchatter.com/showthrea...ll=1#post45112

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    • #3
      Protesting Thai rubber farmers defy martial law

      Protesting Thai rubber farmers defy martial law
      December 9, 2014

      BANGKOK (AFP) - Thai rubber farmers defied a law banning political gatherings Tuesday as the industry reels from record low prices and tests the junta's resolve to end the kingdom's subsidy culture.
      http://thailandchatter.com/showthrea...ll=1#post45112

      Comment


      • #4
        Earlier

        More buying, loans to appease rubber planters
        8/12/2014

        The government has announced four more short-term measures to arrest plummeting rubber prices ahead of a planned protest by farmers on Tuesday.

        Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Amnuay Patise said on Monday the new measures would bring the total number of solutions to help farmers to 16, costing 58 billion baht in total.

        First, a cash subsidy of 1,000 baht per household with no more than 15 rai will continue.

        Second, the existing rubber buffer fund, with outstanding amount of 20 billion baht, will buy rubber products worth 6 billion baht at a time for exports and price support. To date, only 200 million baht has been spent to buy smoked sheets. Raw rubber sheets will also be bought from cooperatives at market-leading prices of 0.50 to one baht a kg, he said.

        Third, credit worth 100,000 baht will be extended so each planter can invest in a side-line job without having to turn to loan sharks.
        Fourth, the 1999 Rubber Control Act will be used to make sure all stakeholders are being treated fairly. Product standards will also be upgraded and cooperation with neighbouring countries sought.

        Deputy Prime Minister MR Pridiyathorn Devakula also said on Monday the government was pushing the three major buyer groups - cooperatives, Rubber Estate Organisation and latex buyers - to help farmers.

        "The government is doing its best to help but the complex process slows the efforts. Cooperatives have started buying since October while the Rubber Estate Organisation has done its part only 10 days ago due to the complicated approval process.

        "However, the price will unlikely be 80 baht a kg as demanded by farmers as the purchases will have to be made slowly."

        At least 200 rubber planters from four districts of Surat Thani province plan a major rally in front of the city hall on Tuesday to press the government to raise rubber prices to at least 80 baht a kg for rubber sheets.

        They on Sunday also issued a second open letter to Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, calling for government intervention by providing subsidies to raise the price paid for rubber.

        The planters demanded at least 30 baht per kilogramme for rubber scraps, 70 baht for latex and 80 baht for rubber sheets.

        The price of raw rubber sheets rose 1.35 baht to 45 baht a kilogramme at 4pm on Monday while that of No. 3 rubber ribbed smoked sheets climbed one baht to 51 baht a kg.

        In line with world oil prices, the price of local raw rubber sheets have slid to less than 45 baht a kg this year from more than 195 baht in 2010.

        bangkokpost.com
        http://thailandchatter.com/showthrea...ll=1#post45112

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        • #5
          Current

          Rubber farmers issue ultimatum over price
          December 9, 2014

          Disgruntled rubber farmers said Tuesday that they were giving the government a few more weeks to push the price of rubber up to at least Bt80 per kilo, or they would kick off massive rallies.

          The ultimatum was issued when several farmers began protesting in various provinces and the government said the price of rubber would not rise higher than Bt60 per kilo.

          nationmultimedia.com
          http://thailandchatter.com/showthrea...ll=1#post45112

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          • #6
            Federal governments sticking their chainsaws into the fine surgery of farm subsidies always has the same effect. Disaster.

            Federal governments should stay out of protecting or punishing food supplies. If you want to proclaim free market -- prove it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Who'd want a "free market"?

              Silly idea.
              “Don’t get sick of me just yet, for I will be here for quite a while”

              Comment


              • #8
                Aren't these the same guys who protested for months in Bangkok against the "corrupt" rice subsidy during the Yingluck gov?

                Som nam nah...
                “Don’t get sick of me just yet, for I will be here for quite a while”

                Comment


                • #9
                  Raw rubber sheets will also be bought from cooperatives at market-leading prices of 0.50 to one baht a kg



                  Originally posted by Mid View Post
                  Rubber farmers issue ultimatum over price
                  December 9, 2014

                  Disgruntled rubber farmers said Tuesday that they were giving the government a few more weeks to push the price of rubber up to at least Bt80 per kilo, or they would kick off massive rallies.

                  The ultimatum was issued when several farmers began protesting in various provinces and the government said the price of rubber would not rise higher than Bt60 per kilo.

                  nationmultimedia.com
                  So, the military is now into price fixing? Do they realise the impending ASEAN free trade agreements will smash their world into little bits? But then they'll negotiate opt-out clauses for anything they wish and ASEAN will be too weak to do anything about it


                  Originally posted by Texpat View Post
                  Federal governments sticking their chainsaws into the fine surgery of farm subsidies always has the same effect. Disaster.

                  Federal governments should stay out of protecting or punishing food supplies. If you want to proclaim free market -- prove it.
                  That damn woman should be charged . . . and let the military do the same thing with impunity

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Panama Hat View Post




                    So, the military is now into price fixing?
                    No, they just won't subsidize beyond 60/kilo.
                    “Don’t get sick of me just yet, for I will be here for quite a while”

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Post Today Online
                      • The movement of the rubber farmers is to press the government to prioritize on boosting the falling price of the raw rubber sheet,
                      • The direct solution is to provide satisfactory subsidized price for rubber farmers and that the government should not claim about the global market price,
                      • The rubber farmer movement is well-intended and for the interest of the public.


                      Pairoj added that the group also submitted a complaint to Prayut Chan-o-cha, the head of the junta on the abuses of the middleman.
                      After the recent movement of rubber farmers in recent weeks, Supawach Sakda, the Vice Governor of Surat Thani Province called a meeting with the Provincial Office of Agriculture and Cooperatives to give out state loans to small and medium size rubber farm operators.

                      The state loan program is a part of the national program planned by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Bank of Agriculture and Cooperatives. It aims to assist about 100,000 rubber farmers by giving out low-interest loan.

                      prachatai.com
                      http://thailandchatter.com/showthrea...ll=1#post45112

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                      • #12
                        Rubber growers threaten mass protest
                        31/12/2014

                        A leader of southern rubber growers has warned a mass rally could be organised early in January to protest against the government's handling of natural rubber prices and for the removal of Deputy Agricultural and Cooperatives Minister Amnuay Patise.

                        Tosapol Khwanrod, head of a network of southern rubber and oil palm growers in the South, said farmers were surprised and upset by an influx of 856 tonnes of natural rubber into the central rubber market in Nakhon Si Thammarat province on Dec 22, and another 600 tonnes into the central rubber market in Surat Thani province on Dec 24.

                        Mr Amnuay was unable to explain on the two influxes, he said.

                        He also complained that the government's announcement setting the price of natural rubber sheets at 60 baht per kilogramme was preventing the price from increasing above that figure.

                        Mr Tosapol wanted Mr Amnuay, who supervises the rubber price, to decide by Jan 4 if he still deserved to stay in office.

                        Rubber farmers were in severe financial trouble and if Mr Amnuay remained in office they would demonstrate to demand his removal, said Mr Tosapol, who led rubber farmers' protests in Nakhon Si Thammarat province last year.

                        bangkokpost.com
                        http://thailandchatter.com/showthrea...ll=1#post45112

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                        • #13
                          How strange- I thought those southerners were totally in favor of the latest coup? Perhaps Phra Suthep, in his Wat, is not quite so munificent these days.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Cabinet OKs B13bn in subsidies for rubber farmers - source
                            3/11/2015

                            The cabinet on Tuesday approved measures worth 13 billion baht to help rubber farmers and support falling prices, a government source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

                            The government said it would pay a direct subsidy of 1,500 baht per rai for up to 15 rai per household, the source said. That was more than farmers had demanded at a protest rally last week.

                            Approval comes after the cabinet last week approved measures worth about US$1 billion to help rice farmers, including grants and an interest rate reduction for farmers from state banks.

                            Rubber farmer groups had demanded last week that the government approve aid measures to support higher living costs and lower prices of the commodity.

                            The farm subsidies come after much resistance from the military-led government which had vowed upon taking power last year they would end the country's populist subsidies. But growing criticism from rice and rubber farmers, who have seen their incomes fall following the end of subsidy schemes introduced by the previous government, has forced the junta to make a U-turn.

                            Soontorn Rakrong, a spokesman for 16 groups based in the country's South, said they asked the government last week to pay rubber farmers a direct subsidy of 1,250 baht per rai for up to 15 rai per household. The group ended up getting more than that.

                            He said the scheme would help both small rubber growers and large plantation owners.

                            Rubber prices have weakened as demand in China, the world's biggest consumer of the commodity, remains lacklustre due to its economic slowdown.

                            Thailand's benchmark unsmoked rubber sheet (USS3), which farmers sell to factories, was quoted at 38.35 baht ($1.08) per kg on Wednesday.

                            Thai RSS3 rubber was quoted at 37.99 baht per kilogramme in Bangkok on Tuesday, up 0.22 baht. RSS3 December futures stood at $1.25 per kilogramme, up a penny.

                            bangkokpost.com
                            http://thailandchatter.com/showthrea...ll=1#post45112

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                            • #15
                              ^

                              http://thailandchatter.com/showthrea...ll=1#post45112

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