Ministry reduces prices of agrochemicals

The Commerce Ministry's Internal Trade Department has teamed up with importers and traders to reduce the prices of 74 agrochemical products by as much as 35% for three months, effective immediately.

Speaking after meeting with 22 importing and trading companies from three associations yesterday, Wattanasak Sur-iam, director-general of the Internal Trade Department, said the cooperation programme scheduled to run from Nov 30 until Feb 28, 2022 aims to help reduce production costs for farmers.

The department has found the prices of agrochemicals have risen and are expected to keep rising because China, the major producer, has reduced production and limited exports given the high import demand.

The three associations are the Thai Agro Business Association, the Thai Crop Protection Association and the Thai Agricultural Trade Innovation Association.

Agrochemical products covered by the discount scheme will be divided into three categories: herbicides with a maximum discount of 22%; pesticides and insecticides with a discount of up to 26%; and plant herbicides with a discount of up to 35%.

Agrochemical products cover all important crops including rice, maize, sugar cane, cassava, rubber and fruit trees such as durian and mangosteen.

The total volume of the discount scheme is estimated at 235,268 litres. It is expected to help save production costs worth at least 30 million baht.

Interested farmers should contact provincial and district agricultural offices and agriculture and cooperative offices and inform them of the shops where they will buy the products.

The department will then collect the number of orders and send them to the associations, said Mr Wattanasak.

He also pledged to partner with traders and importer associations to reduce the prices of other agrochemical products for farmers once this discount scheme ends on Feb 28 next year.

All agrochemical products are now imported and major producers, especially China, have reduced their production because of higher raw material and transportation costs.

In a related development, according to Mr Wattanasak, the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives will also run schemes to help farmers such as the Happy Agriculture Project which offers credit to farmers not exceeding 50,000 baht per farmer to buy agricultural appliances with no interest charge in the first month.

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