Lawaron Saengsanit, director of the Fiscal Policy Office, revealed on Wednesday that the Cabinet approved a budget increase from 60 billion baht to 80 billion baht for the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC). The budget increase will help the bank fulfil its mission to develop rural areas and the local economy, in line with the 20-year National Strategy.
The BAAC will cooperate with its network, including the public and private sectors and civil society, to ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequality. The bank’s increased financial stability will allow it to help farmers boost their income and increase their competitiveness, as well as create jobs for low-income earners. The BAAC would also be able to assist farmers in times of calamity.
By providing access to credit and its network, the bank seeks to promote a new generation of farmers (‘smart farmers’), as well as the development of small and medium agriculture enterprises (SMAEs), community enterprises, village funds, local financial institutions, and agricultural cooperatives.
The BAAC will further encourage farmers to use new technology to increase production and add value to products. Community stores and local products would also benefit from the project as the bank aims to boost local tourism.
In addition to helping the local economy, this increase in capital will also benefit the Thai economy as a whole, by allowing the BAAC to offer loans totalling up to 12 times the increase in capital.