BANGKOK (AP) - Thailand says it will pay farmers 20 percent less for rice to stem losses from a much-criticized subsidy program that dislodged the country from its spot as the world's No. 1 exporter of the grain.

BANGKOK (AP) Thailand says it will pay farmers 20 percent less for rice to stem losses from a much-criticized subsidy program that dislodged the country from its spot as the world's No. 1 exporter of the grain.

Government spokesman Warathep Rattanakorn said Wednesday the government will pay 12,000 baht ($389) per ton of rice, compared to the current price of 15,000 baht ($486).

The government is also setting limits on the amount of rice the government will purchase to 500,000 tons per farmer.

Warathep said the changes were in response to public criticism over the $4.4 billion loss that the subsidy program has incurred. The scheme was a flagship policy of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's government to woo support from Thai farmers.

The new price will take effect July 1.