BANGKOK (NNT) – The government has launched an 8 billion baht campaign to promote eco-friendly sugarcane farming, targeting the reduction of harmful PM2.5 dust particles during the 2022/23 harvest year.
Deputy Government Spokesperson Rudklao Suwankiri said on Monday that the program, funded by the state-owned Bank for Agricultural and Agricultural Cooperatives, rewards farmers with 120 baht per tonne for harvesting sugarcane without burning the residue. This policy is part of a broader strategy to combat the issue of crop residue burning, a significant contributor to air pollution.
The cabinet’s approval follows the Cane and Sugar Board’s resolution on September 28, supporting sugarcane farmers with up to 8 billion baht. Rudklao highlighted the urgency of tackling PM2.5 pollution and assured that the incentives align with World Trade Organisation (WTO) Green Box standards, promoting sustainable practices without affecting production costs.
For the 2023-24 crop year, Thailand expects a sugarcane output of 82.4 million tonnes. To support the sugar industry further, the cabinet endorsed a two-baht increase in domestic sugar prices on November 14, reflecting higher production costs. However, an additional boost for environmental purposes was rejected to avoid burdening consumers.