Thailand: Thai military tightens monitoring over rice mills


Thailand's military has deployed soldiers to seek cooperation from all rice mills nationwide, requesting them to buy grains from farmers at a reasonable price in an effort to prevent the plunge of rice prices on the market.

Colonel Sirichan Ngathon, spokeswoman of the Thai National Committee for Peace and Order (NCPO), said the move is not aimed at threatening millers but seeking their cooperation to prevent price plummet that harms farmers' benefits.

The military should have adequate knowledge of the rice market and be based at areas where they can easily meet local millers, she added.

The Thai armed forces will also buy grains from farmers through cooperatives to feed 100,000 military personnel as well as resell the product, said Sirichan.

Recently, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha has blamed some rice mill operators and some local politicians for manipulating rice prices.

In response, President of the Thai Millers Association Manas Kitprasert affirmed that millers are not involved in driving the price down, adding that millers work in line with the market price and orders of exporters.

Earlier, the Thai government approved a subsidy worth 1 billion USD to stabilise the rice price after the Hom Mali (jasmine) rice plunged to the lowest level in a decade, costing 5,000 BTH (143 USD) per tonne.


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