Cambodian farmers braced for imminent droughts

Preserving existing water resources and promoting responsible water usage were emphasised by the ministry to avoid depletion. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has issued a warning to farmers for an anticipated drought and the potential impact on paddy rice production

It emphasised the importance of preparing for the absence of rain to mitigate negative consequences.

Referring to an announcement by the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology on 30 May, the agriculture ministry stated that the Kingdom could expect scattered light to moderate rain from 1-6 June. This encouraging weather provides an opportunity for farmers to begin cultivating their rainy paddy rice crops.

However, the ministry cautioned that drought conditions are expected to occur from July to early August, with a lack of rain also anticipated towards the end of the year. Therefore, it is crucial for farmers to make advance preparations to protect paddy rice production.

The ministry stressed the significance of early cultivation for farmers with deep fields and access to irrigated water. By promptly cultivating their rice crops, farmers can ensure healthy growth and increased resilience to drought during the short dry period.

For farmers with rain-fed fields, the ministry advised them to prepare their fields and reinforce their dykes to retain water for a longer duration, thus mitigating the impact of the drought. In such fields, planting should be extended until the end of July.

To address potential crop damage, the ministry recommended that farmers keep spare rice seeds available in case replanting becomes necessary. It also urged local authorities and stakeholders to monitor water sources and paddy rice growth in their respective areas, while preparing to intervene with pumps if needed.

Preserving existing water resources and promoting responsible water usage were emphasised by the ministry to avoid depletion, which could adversely affect both animal husbandry and human consumption.

Recognising the urgency of the situation, the ministry called upon local authorities to understand the effects of drought, identify potential rescue measures, assess the possibility of crop damage, and identify vulnerable farmers who may require government assistance in the future.

The ministry expressed its expectation for the cooperation and readiness of farmers, local authorities, and provincial Departments of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries to effectively respond to the challenges posed by these climatic conditions and minimise any impact on rice production.