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The military leadership of Thailand is ending the policy of government price support to rice farmers. The country’s former civilian government established the assistance program. The new government says different measures are needed to increase agricultural development. Officials also say they are investigating charges of corruption in connection with the former policy. The $19 billion program was one of the most important policies of the government of ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. The former government paid farmers 50 percent over world rice market prices. The government said it could use Thailand’s powerful position in the world market to increase rice prices. But problems arose. India became the world’s largest rice exporter. Thai officials also angered people by withholding information about the payments. The program failed. Reports say 18 million tons of rice are now in storage in Thailand, two times the usual amount. The payments to hundreds of thousands of rice farmers ended last year. Reports said about 20 farmers killed themselves as a result. Others held protests in the streets of the capital, Bangkok, to demand payment. In March, the government tried to make money by selling rice on the world market at lower prices. There is good news, however. The U.S. Agriculture Department predicts Thailand again will become the world’s biggest rice exporter next year. The department says the country is expected to export almost 10 million tons of rice. That would be the largest amount since 2011.