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Politics

Thailand asks farmers to cut down rubber trees to boost prices

Rare measure targets 64,000 hectares to reduce supply by 5% in first quarter

A rubber tree farmer at his plantation in Thailand's southern Nakhon Si Thammarat Province. The current price of rubber has fallen well below the record high of $6.00 a kilogram in 2011.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- Thailand, the world's largest rubber producer and exporter, has launched a program to encourage farmers to cut down rubber trees earlier than the 25-year life cycle to reduce total annual output by 5% by the end of April, in a bid to support falling rubber prices.

To reach the target, the Thai government has earmarked 800 million baht ($25 million) to compensate those who participate in the program, which is not mandatory.

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