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Warning of shortfall in rice crop

Warning of shortfall in rice crop

LACK of rains and unusually high temperatures in June could create a “sharp retrenchment” in Cambodia’s rice harvest this year to levels unseen since 2006, according to the latest United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation rice report.

Production of rice is likely to fall 22 percent to 5.9 million unmilled tonnes this year compared with 7.8 million tonnes of paddy farmed in 2009, it said in a report released on Friday.

“Prospects for the season have been marred by drought conditions, which have been affecting the greater Mekong sub-region since late last year,” the report said.

Cambodian Centre for Study and Development in Agriculture enterprise manager Lang Seng Horng said drought conditions were affecting only some parts of the country. “The important thing is that farmers choose to grow rice from good seedlings and ensure proper use of fertiliser,” he said.

Oum Ryna, deputy director of the Kingdom’s department of Meteorology, said late rains could reverse the drought. “We expect rain levels to be close to last year from the middle to the end of the rainy season, and rain will still fall until November,” he said yesterday.

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