Agriculture ministry shakes up salt for global push

Agriculture ministry shakes up salt for global push

The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has set out a plan to develop Thai sea salt production for international trade.

Alongkorn: Cut reliance on imports

Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Alongkorn Ponlaboot told agencies at a recent ministerial meeting to prioritise the Thai sea salt development scheme to reduce reliance on imported salt and prepare to introduce the Thai product to a larger market.

This fiscal year, the ministry has added measures to bolster the industry including the 2023-2027 salt field development plan, new debt repayment solutions for farmers and a renewed certification drive to ensure the product meets agricultural standard 9055-2562.

“A working panel on salt field solutions has initiated a fund to provide compensation to 111 farmers for price differences arising from stock that has been left unsold of about 9.96 million baht,” he said.

“Financial aid has also been provided to damaged farms at a rate of 1,220 baht per rai, not exceeding 30 rai in total. And this year 80 farmers were given financial assistance worth 877,790 baht.”

He said the ministry plans to promote salt farming as a globally important agricultural heritage system (GIAHS) and set guidelines for exports across various sectors that exploit salt in significant quantities, such as food manufacturers.

In the coming fiscal year, activities will be carried out to promote sea salt management, reduce the production cost, enhance the potential of community enterprise and local wisdom, and promote salt farming in the GIAHS.

The meeting also proposed extending debt repayment deadlines from Aug 31 to 2025 without interest or fines for salt farmers in Phetchaburi, while Samut Sakhon asked for a two-year extension and Samut Songkhram asked for six months.

The Cooperative Promotion Department will propose further aid funds for farmers later for consideration, he said.

The meeting looked at another project which would see 110 farmers receive loans of up to 1 million baht each based on a 10-year repayment structure.