All posts tagged national

Debt crisis ‘to cause grief for more farmers’

Published มกราคม 13, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

Seminar notes multiple factors forcing reliance on loan sharks

FARMERS’ debt is the major reason for land being lost, a problem that will get worse as farming costs rise, more crops fail, and cash-crop prices remain low, experts say.

Yesterday, Local Action Link (Local Act) hosted an academic seminar on farmers’ non-formal-loan crisis at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Economics. It revealed that more than 1.6 million farmers had a total debt of Bt338.36 billion.

Moreover, 149,437 of them had borrowed the money from loan sharks, for a total debt of Bt21.59 billion.

Local Act manager Phongthip Samranchit said farmers’ loss of land was a very big problem because the land was their life-blood. There were endless demands on it because land was precious and many rich individuals wanted to collect it as an investment.

“Farmers’ debt, especially non-formal debt, has been the main reason for land slipping from their hands. The debt problem is going to get worse because farming costs are rising and the price of cash crops are unstable,” Phongthip said.

Speaking from the farmers’ perspective, Kim-ang Phongnarai, the coordinator of the Thai Farmer Network Council, said farmers’ debt woes was a long-standing problem.

However, Kim-ang said that in the past it was not as serious because farmers could borrow from acquaintances in the community and the cost of farming was nearly zero because there was no use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

“The situation now is drastically different, as the farmers have to pay for many things – from seeds, pesticides and fertiliser to petrol for the tractor. This is increasing farming budgets significantly.

“For example, 15 kilograms of rice can be sold for Bt65, but the budget to produce this amount of rice is Bt81. That is why the farmers are always losing,” Kim-ang explained.

“Many farmers also suffer from health problems due to agricultural chemicals and have to spend a large sum of money for medical care.”

Drought also forcing land sales

She said that when farmers could not obtain bank loans, they had to turn to loan sharks to cover their expenses. In the end this would mean they were borrowing more money at illegally high interest rates. This situation caused them to lose their lands under property mortgages or repurchase agreements.

Thammasat University economics professor Pattamawadee Yanatatsaneejit said solving the debt problem at the level of |financial institutions was not the same as problem-solving at the |origin.

“As we can see that high farming budgets are the major reason for the farmers’ debt problems, we have to tackle this point by ensuring that the farmers can produce food with the lowest risk of financial loss – such as promoting organic and polyculture farming,” Pattamawadee said.

“I want to stress that borrowing is not a bad thing, but the farmers have to manage their money |properly.”

Yesterday it was reported from Nakhon Ratchasima that many farmers had put their land up for sale because of the severe drought, which made planting impossible.

Boonsong Wangwatklang, a farmer in Non Sung district, said more than 20 farmers had sold their land at very low prices because of crop failures during the current drought, which is ongoing.


Prawit positive on IUU fishing clampdown

Published มกราคม 13, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

Says laws in place to control illegal practices; ‘Steps beyond EU requirements’

DEPUTY Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan boasted yesterday that Thailand was fully prepared to report on the progress of its clampdown on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing to the European Union this month.

The country has drafted and implemented laws, especially the Fisheries Decree 2015 (revised edition), which went into effect late last year, he said. He added that 31 of the decree’s 52 organic laws had been published in the Royal Gazette while 21 others were pending publication.

Presenting the progress report submitted by the Command Centre for Combating Illegal Fishing (CCCIF) to the Cabinet yesterday, Prawit said the authorities had checked 317 vessels in Thai waters. This went beyond the 220-vessel (10 per cent of all fishing vessels) required by the EU. He said they also checked 43 boats from outside, compared with the EU’s requirement of at least 73 such boats.

Thailand also inspected 115 fishery-processing plants, compared with the 81 plants or 10 per cent of the total as required by the EU, Prawit pointed out.

So far the Fisheries Department has suspended the operation of five plants for 10 days pending improvement, while the Industry Ministry has permanently closed one.

The Office of the Attorney-General also reported that it had gone ahead with legal actions on 41 cases of forced labour and human trafficking from October 1 to December 29 last year, of which eight cases were about forced labour on fishing trawlers.

Prawit also said 2,076 fishing vessels of over 60 ton gross were equipped with a vessel monitoring system – which is 93.7 per cent of 2,216 such vessels. The government is recruiting a company to run the e-licence system so it can be used from March 30 onwards, while the system to regulate fishing boats and control licences online, in effect since last month, has yielded satisfactory results, he added.

Other measures include cooperation with such parties and organisations as Greenpeace and the International Labour Organisation, the report said.

As for Thailand’s cooperation with other countries, it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Cambodia and Vietnam to import migrant workers, while also signing an MoU for agriculture and fisheries with Fiji. Thailand is also considering MoUs with Papua New Guinea and South Korea, while discussing such deals with island nations such as Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands and Micronesia.

Thailand is also in the process of coordinating cooperation with Malaysia, Myanmar and Indonesia, the report said.

The government will present its report on the battle against IUU fishing to EU representatives who will visit Thailand from January 18 to 22. The EU technical inspection team will first arrive on January 18 for two days, and then the EU executive team for assessment will be here from January 21-22.

Last year, the EU gave Thailand a yellow card for its inadequate measures to stop IUU fishing. The US State Department has also maintained Thailand’s Tier 3 ranking in the 2015 global “Trafficking in Persons” (TIP) report.

Prawit also said the government would provide its progress report on TIP to the US on January 19, adding that “if he were the TIP committee, he would elevate Thailand from Tier 3” for the achievements.

Network gives govt 30 days

Published มกราคม 13, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation



Southern rubber farmers accept 3 measures but won’t compromise on Bt60 price

THE SOUTHERN rubber planters’ network covering 16 provinces has accepted the government’s three initial measures to tackle the sharp fall in latex prices, but has vowed to step up pressure if prices do not improve in the next 30 days.

The Cabinet yesterday ordered several ministries to buy latex from rubber planters in a bid to shore up prices, which have fallen to a 10-year low of Bt32 per kilogram whereas production cost is estimated to be more than Bt60 per kg.

Soonthorn Rukrong, chief coordinator of the southern rubber planters’ network, said the target price has to be Bt60 per kilo for planters to cover their production cost. He said the network would give the government another 30 days to shore up the price after which it will take further action if the situation does not improve.

“We believe the government could achieve the target price and if it cannot achieve Bt60, we want to know the reasons,” Soonthorn said.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said the government would buy latex at slightly higher than the prevailing market price but Bt60 was not possible, as the government’s aim is not to distort market forces.

He said the Public Warehouse Organisation would set the purchasing price for latex, which has dropped from around Bt60 per kg in January 2014 to around Bt45 per kg in January 2015 and the current price has gone down further to Bt32 per kg.

“The idea is to increase domestic consumption of rubber, as advanced economies are not buying at the moment and this should help increase rubber prices,” he added.

Various ministries will buy a combined 100,000 tonnes of latex, which will be converted into rubber sheets directly from farmers and they will use the raw materials right away instead of stocking them up.

Currently there are around 200,000-300,000 tonnes of rubber sheets in the government’s stocks, while the Kingdom has an annual output of 4.1 million tonnes of natural rubber, of which only 1.4 million tonnes are used domestically.

According to the Cabinet resolution, the Defence Ministry will spend Bt162 million to buy 933 tonnes of rubber to fix roads within military compounds; the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry will spend Bt9.8 billion for 25,580 tonnes of rubber sheets; the Tourism and Sport Ministry will spend Bt952 million for 3,600 tonnes of rubber to build sports fields; and the Transport Ministry will buy 57,713 tonnes of rubber for mixing with asphalt in road construction.

The Interior Ministry will spend Bt1.59 billion for 3,069 tonnes of rubber for local sports fields, playgrounds and roads; the Health Ministry will buy Bt1.05 billion to use rubber as raw material for production of medical and related products; the Education Ministry will buy rubber sheets for use in sports fields and playgrounds.

In addition, the Commerce Ministry has also proposed measures to attract foreign firms to buy more rubber from Thailand.

In addition to the 100,000-tonne purchase plan, the Cabinet yesterday agreed to spend Bt300 million to distribute 4 million bags of rice free of charge to affected rubber planters, while offering low-cost food and necessity products to these households in southern provinces and other regions where low rubber prices have caused economic hardship.

The Cabinet also approved General Chatchalerm Chalermsuk as chairman of the Rubber Board of Thailand.

Meanwhile, Aat Pisanwanich, director of the UTCC’s Centre for International Trade Studies, said the production cost of rubber in Thailand is about Bt64 per kilogram so the government should also introduce measures to help lower production cost as a longer-term solution.

In addition, Thailand has to develop upstream industries for rubber rather than only exporting the raw material, while there should be more investment in rubber processing.

“Thailand needs to draw investment to become a centre for rubber processing, as Thailand has relied too much on export of raw rubber, which yields low income to rubber farmers” Aat said.

Of the total rubber production, about 87 per cent is exported overseas as rubber sheets while the balance is used for processing, which creates higher value-addition.

He added that with the slowing down of China’s economy, the price of rubber would not increase easily because China was a major rubber user and importer.

Of the total 12 million tonnes of rubber output in the world market, about 40 per cent used to be exported to China. China can produce 850,000 tonnes of rubber each year, but it needs 4.7 million tonnes of rubber a year.

Thailand is the world’s biggest rubber exporter.

Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn said the Public Warehouse Organisation is currently meeting with rubber farmers in the South to seek their opinion and find measures to help them from the falling prices of farm crops.

In a boost for overseas rubber sales, buyers from 17 countries, including China, Russia, Taiwan, Turkey, and South Korea, have expressed interest in purchasing rubber and rubber products from Thailand.

Also, Cambodian importers will this month meet with Thai rubber products traders to buy contracts worth US$4 million. Products that Cambodian traders would like to purchase are rubber mattresses, gloves and other products made from rubber.


Bangkok officials checking CCTV poles after man’s death

Published มกราคม 13, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) said yesterday it was unclear if an alleged power leak from a pole set up with a CCTV camera at Paholyothin Soi 47 in Chatuchak may have caused a man’s death on Saturday.

But the BMA governor has ordered officials to check on 10,000 poles equipped with 50,000 cameras across the city for any electrical power leakage. This would take about two weeks to do, Thaweesak Lertpraphan, deputy director of the BMA’s Traffic and Transport Department said. Officials even resorted to removing their shoes and touching poles but they had yet to find any leaks.

In regard to the man’s death, |officials would investigate further, Thaweesak said.

As of press time, the results of an autopsy on the unnamed homeless man, aged in his 30s, was not known.

Meanwhile, Issarachon Foundation for the Homeless president Sopon Pornchokchai urged the city to take responsibility for the man’s death, as eyewitnesses had affirmed the pole concerned had a voltage leak and people in the neighbourhood had alerted Chatuchak District Office to check it prior to the man’s death. However, officials insisted there was no voltage leak.

Man charged after tourist bitten on nose by snake

Published มกราคม 13, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

A python that bit a Chinese tourist on the nose during a “snake kiss” souvenir photo at the Phuket Biotechnology office in Muang district, was seized yesterday after officials found that its owner did not have a permit to keep it.

Conservation Area Management Office 5 (Nakhon Si Thammarat) wildlife protection official Thongchai Thongboonyang said yesterday that Phuket Biotechnology, which draws tourists with a snake show and products derived from snakes, had permits to keep 85 snakes since 2014 – but only 53 snakes remained.

The python which bit the tourist actually belonged to Pairoj Thiprod, an independent performer who got it from a Bangkok snake farm a few days before the incident and had no permit to keep it. So, officials seized the snake and Pairoj was charged with possessing a protected animal without permission – a crime punishable by up to four years in jail and/or a fine up to Bt40,000. The company will face a charge of failing to apply for permission to have a snake show. The local administrative body will take action against them.

Abac students unsettled by row

Published มกราคม 13, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


ASSUMPTION University (Abac) students have expressed concern over issues stemming from the university’s prolonged management conflict.

On the first day of the semester on Monday, following a 25-day break, many students returned to classes feeling uneasy and surprised that the university had a stricter security screening policy.

Third-year law student Rachata Khumkaew told The Nation that normally he could enter the campus from five gates, but now there were only three. The limit on access followed an incident last December when self-proclaimed acting rector Sudhiporn Patumtaewapibal was confronted by university guards who barred him from entering.

“The door used to be freely open so anyone could get in, but now three open gates are [manned] by guards and two gates closed,” Rachata said. The third-year student said he also worried on whether [previous] incidents could recur, if the conflict remained unsolved.

Second-year Business Administration student Thanyalak Samaifanony said she was worried about two things: first, her safety, due to the unstable situation; dozens of strangers tried to break into the university last year and attacked the guards, she claimed. Second, she believed the conflict could affect school management and many classes might be postponed, making the situation more untenable.

Thanyalak also said that after the confrontation, security measures were significantly beefed up. These days at least three guards were stationed at every gate – contrary to early last year when one guard would be plenty at an entrance.

Fourth-year law student Pannada Lucksompot said she had no concern over this issue, because she believed things would end up fine. She said everything was the same as before, students could reach their classes like normal. But, she did not like confrontation – when people tried to break into the campus, guards had sprayed fire extinguishers at them. “Handling a conflict with violence is absolutely not the solution,” she said.

Natcha Archagraisorn, a fourth-year student at Abac’s Faculty of Nursing Science, said she feared the prolonged conflict might stir violence, which might also affect her study, if school was closed. Prior to the graduation ceremony last year a rumour spread that the university would not be able to provide diplomas, which she said was unpleasant – and could recur if the conflict remained unresolved.

Another female student, who asked not to be named, said she was worried that Abac’s educational management would be affected from instability caused by the conflict. She claimed that a friend – a scholarship recipient who was required to pay tuition from December 30, 2015 to January 6 – was unable to pay the fee because of the clash on December 30. Her friend didn’t show up to pay tuition after the confrontation because of fear for her safety – so, she missed the deadline, which resulted in her registration for courses that required payment to be automatically deleted. She later re-selected courses earlier this week, the student said.

She said the university system meant she had to wait for a long time for her academic record result last semester. “This conflict might worsen the education management system, which is already going downhill,” she added.


Lost tourist pair found near Khao Yai waterfall

Published มกราคม 13, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation



A FINNISH man and a Polish woman were found yesterday after having been lost in Khao Yai National Park for three days. The exhausted tourists were located four kilometres from the park office, in Nakhon Ratchasima province.

The pair – Henri Jalantor, 26, and Justyna Katarzyna, 25, both nature researchers – told reporters later they survived by digging up bamboo shoots to eat and drinking creek water while wandering through the park.

Katarzyna recalled that they went into the jungle without telling park officials on the afternoon of January 9. On the first night, they were unable to get a phone signal to call for help so they slept by a creek. They spent the second night in the woods, laying near a hill and the third night in a cave. She said they ate bamboo shoots and drank creek water to survive. “I’m very happy to get out of the forest,” she added.

After receiving distress calls from the pair at 10pm on Monday, some 100 park officials – divided into 11 teams on foot and one team on a helicopter – began their search early yesterday morning. The national park straddles Prachin Buri, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Ratchasima and Saraburi provinces. The park office also called on phone operator AIS to help triangulate the pair’s last phone signals – and that showed they were in the Haew Suwat Waterfall area. Rangers finally located them at 1pm yesterday on a trekking route, 100 metres away from the waterfall.

Assistant park chief Pokkrong Thongneukhaeng said the spot where the pair was found was 4km from the park office, and normally this spot is inaccessible to tourists unless they are accompanied by officials because wild animals often pass through the area. It was fortunate they were safe, he said, because officials noticed many footprints of animals in the area.

Park officials urged visitors to inform them before entering the jungle, so they can get a guide and won’t get lost.


Koh Tao victims’ families slam Thailand

Published มกราคม 13, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

THE sister of murdered British backpacker Hannah Witheridge has warned people not to travel to Thailand, claiming Westerners are “hated in the country”.

Laura Witheridge, whose sister was one of two victims in the brutal Koh Tao murder case, slammed Thailand in a Facebook post, saying it was far from the beautiful country people talked about.

She further alleged that many Thais had no regard for human life and treated people like dirt.

Laura’s sister Hannah was raped and murdered along with another Briton, David Miller, on the resort island in September 2014.

A Thai Court sentenced two Myanmar migrants, Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tun, to death for killing both victims late last year.

However, Thai police were criticised for not being professional in the way they collected evidence and accused of setting up the convicted pair as scapegoats to resolve the case.

The Witheridge family flew in from Britain to attend the court’s ruling.

Laura alleged in her Facebook post that senior Thai officials callously told her parents to go home and “just make another one” after their daughter was raped and killed while on holiday.

Laura’s condemnation of Thailand came just days after another Briton was found dead on Koh Tao.

The body of Luke Miller, 26, a bricklayer from the Isle of Man, was found in a swimming pool last week, prompting his distraught mother, Sara Cotton, to issue her own warning.

She said: “This has ripped my heart out… Luke was living the dream out there. I personally didn’t want him to go though.

“If I knew then what I know now about that island, he wouldn’t have gone. I would’ve hidden his passport. I don’t think parents should let their kids go out there to that island.”

In a Facebook post shared over 4,408 times, Laura Witheridge labelled Thai officials “corrupt” and claimed Thailand was not the beautiful and safe travel destination it was reputed to be.

Among the questions court officials put to her family during the trial were: “Why are you here?” and “Why do you care?”

Shockingly, other individuals told the grieving family: “She is dead already – why are you so bothered? Just go home and make another one” and “Why are you making such a fuss, she will be back in 30 days as something else, she may have better luck next time.”

This, Laura claimed, was evidence of their “little regard for human life”.

Group of ‘cheated’ Chinese rally for compensation

Published มกราคม 13, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


A group of Chinese rallied yesterday demanding compensation from Bangkok’s Nine Star Airways Co, claiming hundreds of them were lured into paying big sums to train as flight attendants.

In Bangkok’s New Petchaburi Road area, the group held a protest outside the Italian-Thai building where Nine Star Airways Co is located. The protesters were holding up boards claiming the company had tricked them and demanding that it return the money.

Li Xiao Guang, a representative of the protesters, claimed that some 200 people had been lured to sign up for the training course via an agency in China. Each person paid about Bt1 million for the three-year course but got no employment.

He also said that they wanted to meet the building’s manager to negotiate, but he was not available. Also, a confrontation broke out wounding three people.

” It has been like this for more than two years with us getting no money back, no jobs and some of us have travelled seven or eight times back and forth to demand our money. Some of those affected are only 18, whose dreams of becoming flight crew members were ruined by this company,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Nine Star Airways lawyer Teerachat Nilawan filed a complaint at the Makkasan Police Station, saying the protesters had done criminal damage, restricted freedom and were downright annoying.

The lawyer added that the company had no information on any such training course, because it was set up by former managerial board.

He confirmed that negotiations for compensation had already been done between the former board and the agency in China.

Ministry seeks ways to ease overcrowding in prisons

Published มกราคม 13, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

SEVERAL moves will be adopted to ease overcrowding in jails, the Justice Minister General Paiboon Koomchaya said yesterday.

One of the measures would be to give prisoners who have served some of their time a “ticket of leave”.

Her Royal Highness Princess Bajra Kitiyabha has advised the ministry to take preventive actions by opting for other justice procedures instead of taking cases to court for convicts to be sentenced, he said.

Hence, the ministry will put the Electronic Monitoring (EM) system into use, while the National Steering Reform Assembly is drafting regulations to get government approval for use of these devices. This tracking system will be used for people on probation, inmates who have no assets for use as a guarantee to get bail or putting inmates under house arrest.

Advice from Japan on re-offenders

Paiboon was speaking at a seminar, which had the head of Japan’s Justice Ministry’s Department of Rehabilitation, Hiroshi Kataoka, as guest speaker.

Hiroshi explained that in a move to cut down on the problem of repeat offenders and overcrowded jails, Japan allowed prisoners who have served a certain period of time to take a leave of absence.

Japan has 70,496 convicts serving time in jail, with 47,000 probation volunteers and only 1,000 probation officials.

Japanese who have served a third of their jail term and at least 10 years of life sentences, are entitled to take leave. During this period out of jail, convicts are closely monitored and given occupational training so they do not commit offences again.

Hiroshi said statistics prove that there is a four times higher chance of former inmates re-offending if they are jobless, compared to those who are employed.

%d bloggers like this: