New jobs to deter farmers from growing third round of rice.

The Royal Irrigation Department will spend 3.5 billion bht to create non-farming jobs for rice farmers in the dry season.

The jobs are intended to deter farmers from growing rice outside the farming season, which may subject them to a water shortage and financial losses later.

The department’s director-general Sanchai Ketworrachai said yesterday that farmers could be hired for the construction of small irrigation projects and removing weeds to better manage water sources.

“In this current fiscal year, we have already hired 41,184 farmers across the country,” Sanchai said. “We can hire many more”.

 Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister General Chatchai Sarikalya yesterday demanded a strict ban on the third round of rice growing.

By Juninho