Thousands of Battambang’s rice paddies were destroyed by the recent floods – but neigh on three times as many suffer drought.
Chhim Vichara, Director of the Battambang provincial Agricultural Department, informed Khmer Times today (August 7) of the situation. 2,796 hectares of paddies in the Mong Ruessei, Sangkae, Ek Phnum, Bavel and Tma Koul districts were inundated. In stark contrast to this, some 7,500 hectares of paddies in Battambang province’s Koas Krolor district suffer from a month-long lack of rain.
“While other areas face floods, parts of Koas Krolor have seen no rain for a few months.”
This is not a one shot deal because it has happened before, e.g. last year 9,000 hectares of Battambang paddies parched.
Mr Vichara stated that his agency is introducing counteractive measures. Local authorities are pumping water to irrigate the affected fields.
“We [Batambang’s Agricultural Department] advise villagers to discontinue wet rice farming [which requires much irrigation]; we suggest that they raise alternative crops. Climate change makes these areas unsuitable for traditional rice growing methods.”