Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Drought lowers paddy yields



Drought lowers paddy yields

Drought lowers paddy yields

Rice production was badly affected by drought last year, dashing hopes of obtaining

self sufficiency, new figures released by the Ministry of Agriculture show.

Near final estimates put total production during the main wet season in 1993 at 1.92

million tonnes, down nearly 150,000 tonnes on the 1992 figure of 2.07 million tonnes.

The latest estimate of the country's rice deficit for the year is 180,000 tonnes,

said Kith Seng, deputy director of the ministry's Department of Planning.

The government is expected to rely on international aid to meet the shortfall.

He said: "The figures are disappointing. Early in the season we had been hopeful

of obtaining a good harvest. But some areas were too dry for that and others were

affected by flooding."

Seng said the low yield together with higher rice prices in neighboring countries

had pushed up market rates for paddy to 300 riel per kg compared to 200 riel per

kg at this time last year. Prices are expected to climb still further towards a traditional

peak in August as stocks are depleted prior to the this year's wet season harvest.

Ministry figures put average crop yields last year at 1.18 tonne per hectare, down

on the 1992 figure of 1.38.

Harvesting is nearly complete and is expected to take place on 1.628 million hectares

of 1.697 million planted.

Revolution and civil war has prevented the Kingdom from being self sufficient in

rice since the 1960s, when it was a net exporter to the tune of 250,000 to 400,000

tonnes per year.

Then up to 2.5 million hectares were planted but heavy use of land mines and the

destruction of irrigation systems has severely reduced the area available for cultivation.

Efforts are being made to increase the dry season crop. But the Ministry figures

show that the hectarage planted is only one tenth of that in the wet season due to

lack of irrigation and local strains of rice maturing only in monsoon months.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants