Thai farmers refuse cave rescue flood damage compensation

Nineteen of the 126 farmers whose land was used to hold water pumped out of the Tham Luang cave have declined to accept state compensation as they want to play their part in the rescue efforts.

The prime minister thanked them and said he really appreciated the sacrifice by 19 farmers, who said they would like to play their part in the rescue mission, government spokesman Lt Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said on Saturday.

Nineteen of the farmers refused to accept any compensation from the state, claiming that they volunteered to help the 12-member Moo Pa team and their football coach.

Farmers in four tambons on Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai province, were asked to allow their fields to be flooded by water pumped out of Tham Luang to facilitate the rescue of 12 youth footballers and their coach trapped in the cave from June 23 to July 10.

Lt Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the Agriculture Ministry already gave them saplings of lychee, eggplants and chilis, as well as organic pesticides and fertilisers, and offered repair services for farm machines.

They each will receive a money transfer at 1,113 baht a rai up to 30 rai soon, he said, adding the aid totalled 1.4 million baht.

Farm experts will also be sent to the area to give advice on land rehabilitation. The farmers will also be given 14 tonnes of two popular rice strains — Khao Thip 105 and Kor Kor 6. –

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