PM reveals cabinet discusses ‘Half-Half Fertilizer’ at length after being targeted

Politics

Government House, The Prime Minister revealed that the Cabinet had a long discussion, discussing the details of the "Half-Half Fertilizer" project after being scrutinized, while the "Minister of Agriculture" explained that it was separate from the 1,000 baht per rai compensation project, emphasizing that the government would provide assistance in the event of a crisis of low rice prices, confirming that fertilizer would increase rice prices. Prime Minister Settha Thavisin announced after the cabinet meeting that the last issue discussed in the cabinet meeting and the reason for the delay in today's meeting was that Lt. Col. Thammanat Prompao, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, discussed the details of the 'Half-Half' fertilizer project, stating that the 1,000-baht compensation per rai project and the 'Half-Half' fertilizer project were different projects. The 1,000-baht compensation project was introduced during the previous government, which provided an additional 1,000 baht per rai, not exceeding 2 0 rai, as a relief project during the crisis last year when the price of rice was around 7,000-8,000 baht per ton. However, the price of rice has improved, so the 'Half-Half' fertilizer project was created to reduce costs for farmers and increase the yield per rai of rice. This project is sustainable and uses the budget efficiently. It is something that has been discussed with many relevant sectors to truly benefit farmers. The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives will provide further details. 'Don't forget that it's not just the price of rice per ton that is important. We are confident that this year's rice price will be good because we are using precision agriculture and using the right fertilizer based on soil analysis by soil doctors, of which there are tens of thousands of people all over the country. This has allowed us to know the right fertilizer needs. We will survey the soil to find out what is lacking first. This is why it is important,' the Prime Minister said. When asked if there was any co ncern that corruption might occur along the way for the fertilizer to reach farmers, the Prime Minister said that this matter had been clearly discussed. Corruption and misconduct must not fall into the hands of only 2-3 fertilizer traders. The Ministry of Agriculture is trying to find about 40-50 fertilizer traders. We emphasize corruption as well. As for the criticism that the government has dug up the Half-Half Fertilizer project and then canceled the 1,000-baht relief project in the case of farmers experiencing flooding and drought, the Prime Minister said that these are two separate issues. The Half-Half Fertilizer project is about increasing productivity and providing precision in rice cultivation. However, in the event of a crisis, it must certainly be considered as appropriate. Reporters reported that at the end of the cabinet meeting, Lt. Col. Thammanat discussed the half-and-half fertilizer project in the cabinet meeting after the government made a resolution in the previous meeting that was criti cized and linked to the cancellation of the 1,000 baht per rai farmer compensation project, which took more than 30 minutes of discussion before the prime minister came down to announce the meeting results. After the press conference, Lt. Col. Thammanat walked up to Thai Khu Fah Building with the prime minister. Source: Thai News Agency