thaipbs A public hearing was staged by Chachoengsao provincial administration to allow rice farmers to discuss with authorities concerned on how to resolve the delayed rice payments owed to the farmers by the government.
The meeting was chaired by Deputy Governor Mr Bamrung Jienmart and attended by 200 farmer representatives from Ratchasart, Bang Kla, Bang Nam Pliew and Phanom Sarakham districts. Several provincial councilors were also present at the meeting.
The Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) offered to grant the farmers up to 50,000 baht interest-free loan. But this was rejected out of hand by the farmers who argued that the amount offer was too small compared to the value of the crops they had pledged with the government.
During the discussion, a farmer from Bang Nam Pliew district, Mr Manit Senla, asked why the rice in stockpiles were not sold so that there would be earnings to pay the farmers. He said that why the farmers should seek loan from BAAC even it was interest free since they were entitled to their payments which were long overdue.
He accused the government of being incompetent and said that he would take to the streets to protest against the government.
The discussion was inconclusive.