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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairss   5 January 2015  

PM says government to continue support for agriculturists

 BANGKOK, Jan 3 -- Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha reiterated that his government is concerned about declining prices of local agricultural products including for the livelihood of rubber growers.
In his weekly address via TV and radio stations on Friday night, Gen Prayut said the government is worried about the current severe flooding situation in the South and chilly weather in the North and Northeast and has ordered concerned state agencies to provide speedy assistance to affected people.
Thanking people for assisting society, Gen Prayut said the project called ‘Pook Pinto Kao’ which he mentioned last October is certainly a positive programme as it offers genuine happiness to agriculturists.
The programme is inspired by His Majesty the King and stresses self-sufficiency, strengthening the community, fostering devotion and offering generosity to others.
The project called "Pook Pinto Kao" literally means "rice tiffin service," is a civic initiative to reduce the huge influence of middlemen and a system that has long put farmers at a disadvantage.

 The scheme aims to shorten the chain between rice growers and rice consumers through the concept of "brides and grooms."
Rice consumers and buyers that join the programme automatically become brides. They are then matched with an existing groom — or farmers who operate organic farms.
The bride and groom then establish the terms of the contract for the selling and buying of rice, without the help of any middleman. Pook Pinto Kao merely acts as liaison between the two parties.
This programme could reach every Thai who wants to see Thai rice once again be known for good quality that is clean and safe for consumption, said Gen Prayut. It is a mechanism that connects relations between urban families and farmers growing organic rice.
Organic rice is gaining steady popularity and cooperation from corporates, restaurants, hotels, schools and government agencies is needed, he said.
There are several agricultural products that should be promoted, he said. For example, there are Thai orchids, of which several strains have been hybridised and some of them named after Thai Royal family members.
Gen Prayut said he had ordered ministers to offer assistance to orchid growers with plans to open an “orchid and flower market around Government House or at other appropriate places” on weekends.
Also, he said a “week of Thai orchids and flowers” could be organised in the future, aimed at widening the market and creating goodwill among Thais and the overseas markets which could help in boosting the country’s exports.
Stressing that farmers should switch to “organic agriculture,” Gen Prayut went on saying that it needs cooperation from educated agriculturists and community members in order to make it happened.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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