Rubber growers in the southern province of Surat Thani rallied in front of their respective provincial halls on Wednesday, demanding that the government urgently solve the problem of low rubber prices.
The protesters handed their written demand to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra through Surat Thani governor Cherdsak Chusri. They called on the government to intervene in the domestic market by purchasing raw rubber at 120 baht (US$3.80) per kilogramme, with the price recently plunging to 85 baht (US$2.69) per kilogramme.
The rubber growers went home after the provincial governor promised to work with the government to urgently solve the problem.
Surat Thani is the political stronghold of former deputy prime minister for security affairs and former Democrat Party secretary general Suthep Thaugsuban.
Last week, Mr Nattawut blamed a slump in rubber prices on the eurozone economic crisis, and defended the government’s unsuccessful attempts to boost the domestic price to 100 baht a kilogramme.
He said the previous previous Democrat Party-led government spent up to 24 months trying to shore up the price of rubber to over 100 baht/kg.