Thai farmers of freshwater prawns have been given a shot in the arm by the decision of UK-owned superstore chain to cut out the middleman and buy directly from the farmers. Under an agreement to be signed shortly, will help farmers secure higher prices, said Newin Chidchob, a deputy commerce minister in the Thai government. Indeed, prices have already lifted in anticipation of the new buying arrangement. A kilogramme of freshwater prawns now goes for Bt150 (US$) at the farm gate, a Bt20 improvement on last week.