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Flooding damage escalates

Flooding damage escalates

Flooding has affected close to 287,000 hectares of rice fields, with about 27,800 considered damaged beyond repair, according to government statistics released on Monday.

The data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries reveal that rising waters have affected about 11 per cent of the total cultivated area of rice, more than 2.5 million hectares.

Khem Chenda, director of the department of administrative affairs at the ministry, doesn't expect all the affected areas to be ruined, but exact figures for fields that cannot be salvaged aren’t known yet.

“We are informed that another typhoon is coming from Vietnam which would be here in the next few days, so we still wait and see how this impacts us,” he said.

In 2011, flooding reached more than 420,000 hectares of Cambodia’s nearly 2.5 million rice fields, and more than 10 per cent were destroyed, according to the government.

Yang Saing Komar, president of agricultural organisation CEDAC, said that compared to 2011, heavily cultivated areas of Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, and Siem Reap provinces were harder hit this year.

However, he added that production in Kampot, Takeo, and Kampong Speu provinces would benefit from higher rainfalls.

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