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Drought may damage harvests, officials say

THIS year’s longer-than-usual dry season could lead to falling rice yields across the country at the upcoming harvest, agriculture officials said Thursday.

Kith Seng, director of planning at the Ministry of Agriculture, said that although there are no precise statistics about the impact of the late rains, an estimated 100,000 hectares in Kampong Speu, Kampot, Takeo, Kandal, Preah Sihanouk, Prey Veng and Svay Rieng provinces could be at risk.

“Activities in agriculture production are slower than last year,” he said.

He added that 2,000 tonnes of rice seeds will be distributed to struggling farmers if the dry weather extends into July.

Keo Vy, chief of cabinet at the National Committee for Disaster Management, said he was also concerned and would “closely monitor the situation”.

“It is still a short period of drought. Therefore we will not make any conclusions about the effect it will have on the livelihoods of farmers,” he said.

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