Protesting Thai rubber farmers respond favourably to government’s latest offer of financial aid

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HAT YAI, Thailand – Representatives of protesting rubber farmers in Thailand who have been demanding government subsidies because of falling prices are responding favourably to a new compensation offer.

The Cabinet approved a 21.2 billion baht ($657 million) program on Tuesday for the farmers, who have been blocking roads and railways to press their case. They had threatened further militant action on Saturday.

A farmers’ organizer from Songkhla province, Thanapon Thongwan, said he is satisfied with the measure and will consult with colleagues from other provinces on Friday. Bandit Rammak, a co-ordinator in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, also said he agreed with the offer.

The government said it would give rubber farmers 2,520 baht ($78) per rai (0.4 acre, or 0.16 hectares) of land, double what it offered last week.

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