BANGKOK, March 13 Thailand has approved the sale
of 730,000 tonnes of rice from state warehouses to exporters,
the commerce minister said on Thursday.
That was above the 517,000 tonnes it aimed to sell in a
tender held early this week.
"The rice is worth about 9 billion baht and we aim to sell
more to get money to pay farmers," Commerce Minister
Niwatthamrong Boonsongphaisan told reporters, referring to
payments under a rice-subsidy scheme.
He said 180,000 tonnes were sold to exporters via the
tender, while another 550,000 tonnes were sold to exporters who
had overseas orders and were seeking rice for deliveries.
The Commerce Ministry is trying to pay angry farmers who
sold rice to the government through the rice-subsidy scheme but
have not been paid.
Some farmers have been protesting for their money for days
in front of the Commerce Ministry.
(Reporting by Apornrath Phoonphongphiphat; Editing by Robert