Thailand rice prices stir up debate

Government pledges help to rice farmers despite criticism from some about cost of programme.

    Thailand's governing Pheu Thai party won last year's election partly based on a promise to improve the income of rice farmers.

    The government introduced a scheme which currently pays them around 50 to 60 per cent more than market prices.

    The International Monetary Fund estimates that this could amount to $3.8bn, excluding the cost of storage.

    Despite the cost, the government says it will continue with the programme, because it has a duty to look after farmers.

    But not everyone agrees that the benefits are worth it.

    Al Jazeera's Florence Looi reports from Bangkok.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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