The caretaker prime minister has been closely overseeing a program aimed at encouraging rice farmers to adopt superior quality rice seeds. This initiative is expected to benefit around 200,000 farming households and contribute to the production of 2.6 million tonnes of high-quality unhusked rice this year.
According to Government Spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri, the Rice Department, along with community leaders and community rice centers, is actively motivating farmers to transition to better quality seeds. The objective is to increase rice yields per rai (a unit of land measurement) and enhance the competitiveness of Thai paddy farmers in the global market.
The program involves the distribution of 50,000 metric tons of rice seeds to approximately 200,000 farming households across Thailand. These seeds will cover a cultivation area of 3.91 million rai, with an expected yield of 2.6 million tons of high-quality unhusked rice.
Anucha further explained that the participating farmers include those who have not previously switched to different rice seeds. Under the scheme, each rai of cultivated land will receive 15 kg of seeds, and each household will be provided with enough seeds to cover a cultivation area of 30 rai, amounting to approximately 450 kg of seeds.
The spokesperson also emphasized the financial benefits of the program, noting that farmers involved have been able to command higher prices for their unhusked rice due to its improved quality, meeting the demands of the market.
Highlighting the government’s priorities, Anucha stated that Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha places significant emphasis on agriculture and the welfare of farmers. The prime minister aims to strengthen the agricultural sector to improve the quality of life and income of farmers.
In line with this vision, the government has consistently introduced beneficial programs for farmers and rice growers, including large-plot farming schemes, the utilization of advanced farming technology, the implementation of geographical indicators, and the provision of financial aid to support farmers.