SATP touts pro-farmer policies

Somkid wants to bring back One Tambon, One Product programme

Somkid Jatusripitak, chairman of the Sang Anakhot Thai Party (SATP), has vowed to push for a five-year moratorium on farmers’ debt payments, a fertiliser subsidy and an improved version of the government’s state welfare programme as part of the party’s election pledges.

Speaking at Ubon Ratchathani University yesterday, the former deputy prime minister said he will continue the policies he initiated and previously oversaw.

Mr Somkid served as deputy PM both in the Thaksin Shinawatra government and the Prayut Chan-o-cha administration. He played a key role in devising several populist policies, including village funds and the One Tambon, One Product (Otop) programme during the Thaksin government. In the Prayut government, Mr Somkid was in charge of economic affairs. His economic team introduced the state welfare scheme and the Thailand 4.0 economic policy.

“We will reintroduce a five-year moratorium on farmer’s principal and interest payments. During the moratorium, fresh loans will be granted and the original principal and interest will not be deducted from the new loans,” he said.

“We will also replenish village funds and revive the Otop project and promote tourism in villages,” he said. “We will also introduce an improved version of the state welfare scheme as a New Year gift for the people.”

“We will also subsidise the fertiliser cost. Farmers pay half of it and the government pays the rest,” he added. “We will also push for the green agro-industry and processed agricultural products to help people in Isan.”

Sontirat Sontijirawong, party secretary-general, said if the SATP becomes the government, its priority will be to tackle droughts and flooding in the Northeast by setting up a water management ministry.

The party will set up a 300-billion-baht fund to ease the debt crisis, he said, adding it will also take action to boost the price of Hom Mali rice to more than 15,000 baht per tonne.

The SATP was formed after Uttama Savanayana, ex-leader of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party, and his faction were purged from the PPRP in 2020 to make way for Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon to take the lead.

Mr Somkid stepped down from the government, citing health problems.