วันพฤหัสบดีที่ 3 กุมภาพันธ์ พ.ศ. 2554
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When the question of the egg price came up, you could be sure that other major political issues - be it tension over the yellow and red shirts or the heat over the Thai-Cambodian border confrontation - had to take a back seat. If the price of an egg doesn't come down on his watch, he and his party could lose the next election hands down.
The past few months have, however, seen a U-turn on the egg front. Egg prices have been on the rise and complaints from consumers have been piling up - so much so that the issue could threaten the government's political stability if nothing is done to stem the rise in egg prices. It doesn't matter that prices of other commodities and consumer products have also been increasing. The egg price symbolises every measure of a government's competence.
That's where Manote Chootabtim, president of the Chicken Farmers' Association, came in. He was asked by an inspector of the Commerce Ministry, Chutima Bunyaprapassorn, to offer advice on how to bring down production costs for chicken farmers.
"I proposed cutting the prices of animal feed and power bills. On the marketing side, I proposed selling chicken eggs by the kilo instead of by piece, as one of the alternatives - not as a total solution," he says.
He blames the perennial problems of chicken farmers on the middlemen who invariably put pressure on the farmers for the lowest possible price, so they can sell to consumers at the highest possible profit margin.