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COST-REDUCING STEPS FOR RICE FARMERS



The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives is to proceed with measures to lower costs for about a million rice farmers in 814 districts for the 2014-15 rainy season.

Permanent secretary Chavalit Chukajorn said the ministry had instructed its officials nationwide to implement cost-reduction measures as directed by the National Council for Peace and Order over the next four months, or by the end of November.

The aim is to reduce the cost of rice production by Bt432 per rai (Bt2,700 per hectare). Lowering the cost of chemical fertilisers by Bt40 per rai, chemical pesticides by Bt20 per rai, seed stock by Bt122 per rai, harvesting-vehicle servicing by Bt50 per rai and land rental by Bt200 per rai should cut the average rice-production cost to Bt4,355 per rai from Bt4,787 currently.

In addition, the ministry and its agencies (including the Department of Agricultural Extension, Land Development Department, and Department of Agriculture) will introduce modern farming techniques and technology to help farmers improve production yields and cost efficiency for the 2014-15 rainy season, Chavalit said.

IPITEX COMING TO BITEC

The "IP Innovation and Technology Export" (IPITEx 2014) expo will be held in Thailand for the first time from July 18-20 as the showcase for innovative products ready for commercialisation and investment in the future.

The event is a collaboration of many agencies including the Intellectual Property Department, the Science and Technology Ministry, the Federation of Thai Industries, the Board of Trade of Thailand, the Thai Bankers Association, and the National Research Council of Thailand. The expo will be held at Bitec, Bang Na, Hall 103-105.

It will showcase many innovative products that are ready to be developed for commercial purposes. These include bioplastic packaging for extending shelf life of fresh produce and dried fruits, bamboo bundling machines, the production of controlled-release fertiliser coated by polymer nanocomposites, antibodies and diagnostic assays for detection of plant viruses and bacteria.

ETIHAD TO SERVE PHUKET

Etihad Airways will start flights to Phuket in the current half of this year, as part of its business goal to grow the number of destinations and passengers.

Expected to start in October, the daily flights to Phuket will target United Arab Emirates residents and holidaying Europeans.

The national airline of the UAE now flies to 98 destinations worldwide and the number is planned to rise to 103 by the end of this year. Flights to Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, were launched this month and Rome, Perth, Phuket and Dallas are to follow over the remainder of 2014.

A total of 6.7 million passengers flew with the airline in the first half of this year, as it saw a boost in revenue both from passenger and cargo services.

The airline reported double-digit growth in passenger and cargo volumes during the first half, marking its strongest-ever performance for the six-month period, with total revenues increasing to US$3.2 billion (Bt103 billion).

While the number of passengers rose by 22 per cent from 5.5 million in the same period last year, the cargo business carried 268,713 tonnes of freight and mail, which was up 25 per cent year on year.

VILEDA ENTERS THAILAND

Freudenberg Home and Cleaning Solutions is entering the Thai marketplace for home cleaning tools and solutions with its Vileda brand.

"Vileda products are designed to address the various cleaning problems, or unmet consumer needs, encountered when cleaning at home, and our focus is to combine the best cleaning performance and ease of use to help our consumers to save time and also make their life easier," Marc Bajorat, president for Asia-Pacific at the Vileda division of Freudenberg Group, said yesterday.

Present in more than 50 countries around the world, Vileda will enter Thailand with many products such as mops, brooms, gloves, cloths, scourers, squeezer buckets and robot sweepers.


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