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Climate change forum

FLOODS and droughts which destroy crops are among the most damaging effects of climate change, farmers from across the country were told Thursday, during a forum addressing climate concerns for the agricultural sector.

Roughly 360 people attended Thursday’s first National Farmer’s Forum on Climate Change. The forum marked the first chance for many farmers to air their concerns about climate change.

Pao Ratha, a farmer from Kampong Thom, said much of his rice crop was wiped out during a drought early last year.

“The drought destroyed my rice seedlings. There wasn’t enough irrigation,” he said.

All told, 70 percent of the Kingdom’s crops were affected by floods, and 30 percent were hit with drought conditions last year, said Nhem Vanda, vice-president of the National Committee for Disaster Management.

He said authorities are trying to introduce better irrigation and new drought-resistant seedlings.

Cambodia struggles with poor irrigation systems and a lack of resources that sees farmers producing one of the lowest crop yields in the region, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation.

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