Friday, November 21, 2008

Thailand Not For Sale to "Middle Easterners"

I'd like to know which Middle Eastern countries they're worried about and which part of Thailand is being bought up.

Somsak: Middle East hunting for Thai land

The minister of agriculture is hoping to persuade the Cabinet to issue a law preventing excessive land grabbing by Middle Eastern groups.

Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Somsak Prissananantakul revealed his ministry has received reports of groups from Middle Eastern countries collaborating with large agriculture firms in Thailand to grab up farm land through mass-buying and renting of farmers' land. Mr. Somsak said this would lead farmers to their downfall.

The agriculture minister said his ministry is not idly sitting by and preventive measures against land grabbing are being sought.

According to Mr. Somsak, the issue would be brought up for discussion at a Cabinet meeting so appropriate laws on land rent or ownership could be laid down. One idea would be limiting holding of land to 50 rai per person.

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