Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Severe drought takes toll on 40,000ha rice crops across country




Severe drought takes toll on 40,000ha rice crops across country

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The irrigation canal in Banteay Meanchey province turns dry. Drought has destroyed over 40,000ha of rice crops in Battambang, Banteay Meanchey and other provinces while water sources across the country continued to dry up, further threatening its survival. Supplied

Severe drought takes toll on 40,000ha rice crops across country

Drought has destroyed over 40,000ha of rice crops in Battambang, Banteay Meanchey and other provinces while water sources across the country continued to dry up, further threatening its survival.

A high-ranking official from the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) said on Thursday it will be difficult to pump enough water to affected areas.

NCDM adviser Keo Vy told The Post the damaged rice crops were planted by farmers in May and June and farmers expected to harvest in August or September. But climate change has altered the schedule.

“Meanwhile, over 40,000ha of rice crops in Cambodia are in danger due to water shortages while another 5,000ha have been damaged,” Vy said.

He said the provinces most affected are Battambang, Banteay Meanchey and Kampong Thom.

While these regions face water shortages, others like the Cardamom Mountains and Northeast Plateau have been hit by fierce storms, including three Sinlaku or small typhoons, which cause severe regional flooding.

Despite the deluge, farmers say rainfall density is still low and a reason for concern.

Battambang provincial Department of Agriculture director Chhim Vachira told The Post on Thursday that drought in the past weeks seriously damaged 17,981ha of rice crops in, Bavel, Thma Koul and Banan districts and 1,000ha were wiped out. Farmers are trying to replant.

“There was rain in some parts of Bavel and Thma Koul districts on Wednesday, but rainfall density is still low. It is a concern for us in being able to pump water to rescue rice crops,” he said.

Banteay Meanchey provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries director Pang Vannaseth told The Post in July that 3,030ha of rice crops in Mongkol Borei and Sisophon were damaged entirely and another 6,600ha in Mongkol Borei seriously damaged from a lack of rain.

“We hope that rain will save all these rice crops,” Vannaseth said.

Kampong Thom provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries director Pen Vannarith said on Thursday that up until August 4, farmers in Kampong Thom planted rice crops during the rainy season on 207,038ha.

This is equal to 97.06 per cent of the 213,300ha in the cultivated land plan, but a decrease of 8,260ha from the same period last year.

It is predicted that drought conditions will increase in some areas around Sekong River, Sesan River and Srepok River in the northeast part of Cambodia, a report by the Mekong River Commission (MRC), cited by AKP press on Thursday said.

The MRC’s Regional Flood and Drought Management Centre said there will be a severe drought in the coming weeks that will cause serious drought in some areas of Ratanakkiri, Mondulkiri, Stung Treng and Kratie provinces, said the report.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hungarian exposes 90 to Covid in Siem Reap

    The Ministry of Health has discovered 90 people who have been exposed directly or indirectly to a Hungarian man infected with Covid-19. They all are required to quarantine at home and the hospital. The ministry is searching for other affected people. Among the 90, one is the

  • PM warns of ‘new Cold War’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the possibility of a so-called new Cold War has become a significant concern and that all countries have to reject outright, any attempt to allow history to tragically repeat itself. He made the remarks in a speech during 75th Session

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped