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Paddy rice farms curb losses from lost land

Cambodian paddy rice production fell only slightly during the first half of this year’s dry season, despite 12,000 hectares of usually productive land deemed unusable due to last year’s floods.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, dry season paddy rice production between December and April fell 1.9 per cent compared with the same period last year.

Farmers have produced more than 2.11 million tonnes of paddy rice so far this dry season, down from more than 2.15 million tonnes in 2013.

The government commended the farmers’ efforts, citing a 2.5 per cent drop in producing land, due to the effects of flooding. On average, farmers actually increased their average tonnage per hectare from 4.1 tonnes in 2013 to 4.3 tonnes this year, according to the ministry.

Pich Romnea, deputy director of ministry’s paddy rice production department said farmers employing better farming techniques such as water irrigation methods and using dry season appropriate rice varieties helped to curtail yield losses.

“They are using unmixed-seeds, better farming technique and we have seen less insects and bugs damaging the paddy rice this dry season,” he said.

Nheb Sron, director of the agriculture department of Takeo Province, said establishing more irrigation systems throughout the province had pushed the harvest higher.

“More irrigation systems have been built in four districts within Takeo province, which make rice production possible during the dry season,” he added.

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