On the Boil: Thailand’s Government Rice Subsidy – The Irrawaddy, October 28, 2013
…It explains why an estimated 4 million rice farmers registered for this scheme in October 2011, the first year it was unveiled, according to agriculture officials. They were drawn to the windfall from this pro-poor policy aimed to tap the farmers’ vote, the largest constituency in the country. It offered farmers in Baan Non Somboon an answer to the perennial costs of paddy production. The latter ranged from the spike in fertiliser and pesticides to oil.
Yingluck’s rice policy is in step with the raft of unprecedented pro-poor policies that were implemented during the five years that her twice-elected elder brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, governed, till he was ousted in a September 2006 military coup. That first incarnation of populism assured a 1 million baht village fund for small loans, imposed a debt moratorium and unveiled a universal health care scheme…