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Debt fills Thailand's rice bowl

A ​rice farmer in Baan Plaboo cleans her latest harvest. (Photo: Marwaan Macan-Markar)​

BAAN PLABOO, Thailand -- Phayu Longklan, a rice farmer in Thailand's poor northeast, recently sold a fifth of her land for 600,000 baht ($17,247) to pay off debt. But she still needs to repay 200,000 baht in loans, mostly owed to the Bank for Agriculture and Agriculture Cooperatives, a leading government lender to rural communities.

     The bank loans were used to buy farming equipment, help pay for her three children's education and acquire three motorcycles.

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