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Seventh suicide attributed to lack of rice-pledging payments

The government's rice-pledging scheme has driven seven farmers to suicide this year.

The latest victim, Boonma Sa-thong-uan, hanged herself in Kamphaeng Phet yesterday morning. Recently, she had suffered severe stress over the fact that the scheme had not paid her family any money for months, despite taking her paddy last October.

The repeatedly postponed payments left her unable to repay her debts, including those incurred to cover her living expenses.

"She told me she bought stuff from local shops on credit to the point where she dared not open any more credit lines," village head Somjit Klinsorn said yesterday.

Boonma, 42, leaves her husband, farmer Chalerm Sa-thong-uan, 45.

Now under huge stress himself, he lamented that all his family's problems arose from the government's rice-pledging scheme.

Another farmer, Buaphin Toopklom, 47, said the rice-pledging scheme now owed her Bt390,000.

"My family is now in financial trouble. We have debts to repay," she said.


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