Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Dwindling water supplies put dry-season rice haul in danger

Dwindling water supplies put dry-season rice haul in danger

Dwindling water supplies put dry-season rice haul in danger

120127_05b

Dry-season rice farmers in some areas west of the Tonle Sap River and in eastern provinces are appealing to the government for help as the reservoirs they rely on for irrigation are drying up faster than usual, farmers and officials said yesterday.

Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post
San Vanty (centre), undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, speaks during a meeting with the Japan International Cooperation Agency yesterday in Phnom Penh.

Officials at the ministries of water resources and agriculture also said they were intervening quickly to provide pumps so that water could be pumped into rice fields.

San Vanty, under-secretary of state at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, told the Post that more than 20,000 hectares of dry-season rice fields were lacking water.

He said that his ministry and the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology had sent teams to pump water into the rice fields following requests from farmers. “So far, more than 10,000 hectares of paddy were saved,” he said.

Some farmers in Battambang province, however, say they face the loss of their crop if it does not rain soon because the reservoirs they rely on for irrigation have dried up.

Pen Heng, 65, who has a one hectare plot for dry-season rice in Sangke district, said his crop is in danger. “If it does not rain in the next few weeks, my rice will be lost,” he said.

Pen Heng appealed to the government and NGOs to build reservoirs and irrigation systems in his district, because there is a shortage of irrigation there and farmers remain dependent on rain. “We want to produce crops two to three times per year in order to meet the government’s target of exporting one million tonnes of rice in 2015,” he said, adding that this would be impossible if farmers remained reliant on rainfall.

Meanwhile, experts from the Agriculture Ministry and the Japan International Cooperation Agency met yesterday to discuss a project for improving the yields and rice quality in three provinces west of the Tonle Sap. The four-and-a-half year project focuses on technical training for farmers in Battambang, Pursat and Kampong Chnnang provinces, including seed certification.

MOST VIEWED

  • Guards protest dismissals, reject claims of sharing naked photos of child

    Some 20 former security guards at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh protested on Tuesday against their dismissal. They accused their employers of falsely claiming they had viewed and shared child pornography from their mobile phones as grounds for their termination. In total, 32 personnel were dismissed

  • We’re going to Wisney World!

    More than 6,000 mostly Chinese attendees witnessed the inauguration ceremony of a $1 billion Sihanoukville resort project called Wisney World in the capital on Wednesday. The event on Koh Pich, attended by several senior Cambodian government officials, is a joint venture between China’s AMC International and

  • Funcinpec urges probe into deadly Preah Sihanouk accident

    THE Funcinpec party has urged the government, especially the Ministry of Interior, to investigate the traffic accident in Preah Sihanouk province which left Prince Norodom Ranariddh badly injured and his wife Ouk Phalla dead. Funcinpec Vice President You Hokry told reporters at Botum Votey pagoda,

  • Gov’t continues China tilt as ties with the US slide on ‘interference’ in Kingdom’s internal affairs

    CHINA has granted some $131 million in aid to the Cambodian military. It comes as yet another sign that the Kingdom is strengthening strategic ties with its Asian neighbour to counter increasingly cold relations with the United States. The aid was announced as part of a