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Flooding not keeping Banteay Meanchey farmers from producing rice

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Floods are gradually subsiding in Rohat Teuk commune of Mongkul Borei district, seen here on May 13. WATER RESOURCE MINISTRY

Flooding not keeping Banteay Meanchey farmers from producing rice

Farmers in Banteay Meanchey province have stepped up efforts to plant and sow rice, despite their rice being damaged by floods at the beginning of the rainy season.

As of May 24, they had ploughed 50 per cent of their land, while planting rice on 38 per cent of the 252,300ha dedicated to the cultivation of the crop, according to Pang Vannaset, director of the provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

He said that heavy rains at the beginning of the rainy season meant that more than 2,000ha of the rice fields in Rahat Teuk, Chamnoam and O’Prasat communes of Mongkol Borei district had suffered flooding. Fortunately, most of the rice plants were not severely damaged as heavy rain had not fallen for several days.

A team from the provincial Department of Water Resources and Meteorology had also dug canals and streams which allowed most of the standing water to flow into the Tonle Sap Lake, further alleviating the flooding.

“Our teams collected data which showed that just over 100ha – of the more 2,000ha of rice fields in Mongkol Borei district – was completely destroyed by the flooding,” he said.

Kirt Van Mao, a 52-year-old farmer from Mongkol Borei district’s Rahat Teuk commune, told The Post that about 50ha of his paddy fields had been completely flooded after exceptionally heavy rain at the beginning of the rainy season, but it had not discouraged him from continuing to plant rice.

“In my village it has stopped raining, but the water in the fields has not completely drained away. I have ploughed and sown seed to restore the damaged fields and hopefully – without further impacts from climate change – the fields will bear fruit in mid to late September,” he said.

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