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Government Presses on with Latex Pillow Give Away Scheme

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Thailand’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Capt.Thamanat Prompow has said he press ahead with the highly controversial latex pillow give away scheme. His proposal is to give away 30 million latex pillows to support rubber farmers.

Capt Thamanat said he will seek cabinet approval for 4 billion baht from a central budget to procure the first batch latex pillows.

He told Thai Media 3 million latex pillows would be given away free to the public. Even more 433,702 pillows would be given to state agencies.

Under his scheme, a total of 18 billion baht will be required to buy 150,000 tonnes of latex. Which according to Capt.Thamanat will manufacture 30 million pillows.

The latex will be purchased directly from farmers at 65 baht/kg. Above all much higher than the current market price of 43-45 baht/kg, he said. He also believes his pillow scheme will boost the domestic use of latex which will help support the grassroots economy.

Capt Thamanat also said state agencies’ demand for latex will increase to 90,000 tonnes this year.

Meanwhile, the Thai economy’s main drivers in 2020 will be recoveries in export, tourism, and greater government spending. Thai exports in 2020 will continue to be affected by the global trade slowdown. Above all volumes will be slightly higher than in 2019.

Farm incomes in 2020 may not rise much over this year, with drought forecast. Yet global prices of rice and rubber in 2020 are projected to increase this year. The government is also providing income support and price guarantees for  rice rubber, palm and corn.

However, drought at the beginning of 2020 will impact production, especially of rice, thus affecting the overall incomes of farmers in 2020.