Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Drought improves in B’bang; concerns remain

Drought improves in B’bang; concerns remain

Drought improves in B’bang; concerns remain

Despite improving drought-like conditions in Battambang province, farmers and rice millers alike are still concerned about yield and quality levels of rice in one of the country's leading rice-producing regions.

In last month’s report on the drought situation from the Agriculture Ministry, Battambang, along with Banteay Meanchey, accounted for around two-thirds of drought-affected areas, totalling 124,300 hectares out of 182,870 hectares of affected rice plants.

However, Chhim Vichra, director of the Provincial Agriculture Department in Battambang, said the province had seen some rain in the last few days and that the situation was improving.

“If the rain continues for the next few months, I think it will be better. It’s difficult to help the areas that are far from the main source of water if there is no rain.”

The impacted area dropped from 56,780 hectares in Battambang last month to 37,420 hectares as of Tuesday, according to Vichra, who added that some areas were still not seeing much rain.

Kann Kunthy, CEO of rice miller Brico in Battambang, said a drought-like situation could affect the quality of the rice being produced, and that shortages will lead to higher prices – an issue Cambodia is already having to deal with in the international market.

“The higher price doesn’t mean the farmer gets more benefits, because they get less income as they are spending more on water pumps and pesticides,” Kunthy said.

“Millers also get impacted by low-quality rice because it is difficult to sell.”

Phan Saing, a 54-year-old farmer in Battambang province’s Borel district, said that his 10-hectare rice field did not have water for a month and 50 per cent of his rice field was damaged, given that his farm is away from any irrigation system.

“We do not have any water system, even a canal or pond,” he said This year’s figures mark a sharp uptick from the 116,129 hectares hurt by a lack of rain during the 2014 wet season.

In Pursat – the third worst affected province – Lay Viseth, director of Pursat’s Agriculture Department, said the province was still facing issues of drought.

“We have two irrigation systems. It helps some areas but they cannot reach so much because we lack the source of water,” Viseth said.

The Ministry of Agriculture said yesterday that while the drought situation hasn’t changed much from the last report, released on August 26, an updated national report on the current situation is yet to be released.


  • Professor beaten by mob in Phnom Penh after alleged hit-and-run

    Updated with new information: 6:44am, Tuesday March 13 2018 A university professor accused of a hit-and-run has been transported to Vietnam with serious head injuries after he was brutally beaten by a mob in Phnom Penh late Sunday afternoon. A video of the attack shows a group

  • American ‘fugitive’ arrested in Cambodia outside of US Embassy

    An American citizen was arrested on request by the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, according to Cambodian police. Major General Uk Hei Sela, chief of investigations at the Department of Immigration, identified the man as American Jan Sterling Hagen, and said he was

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of