More than 30,000 hectares of rice paddy in nine provinces have been hit by drought and are in dire need of water, according to the Ministry of Water Resources.
Ministry spokesman Chan Youttha yesterday said that about 30,000 hectares of rice paddy were hit in the provinces of Prey Veng, Kandal, Kampot, Kampong Cham, Tboung Khmum, Kratie, Kampong Chhnang, Battambang and Banteay Meanchey.
“The Ministry of Water Resources via provincial departments helped to pump water to save 1,300 hectares of rice paddy and about 30,000 hectares are still facing water shortages,” Mr Youttha said.
Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday called on farmers to conserve water and asked farmers not to cultivate dry-season rice twice as the country faces dry spells.
“Farmers, please plant dry-season rice once to conserve water. You can plant vegetables instead because they need less water,” he said.
Agriculture Ministry spokesman Srey Vuthy yesterday said relevant authorities in the provinces are helping farmers whose farms are facing water shortages.
“At the provincial level, water resource departments and local authorities are using water pumps and giving gasoline to farmers to pump water to irrigate fields,” he said, noting that the figure of affected rice paddies will be updated on Friday.
Sim Thavirak, director of Kampong Cham provincial agriculture department, said local authorities recently pumped water to save 200 hectares of rice paddy in Stung Trang district’s Peam Koh Sna commune.
“The officials are monitoring the situation of rice paddies hit by a lack of water and they will try to find water to save them,” he said.
According to a Kampong Cham Provincial Hall report, 2,500 hectares of rice lack water. In Kratie, about 2,400 hectares of rice are facing water shortages.