Drought season affects several rice paddies in Phichit and Khon Kaen

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PHICHIT, 23 October 2014 – The Royal Irrigation Department (RID) in Phichit province has sent a representative to inform rice farmers regarding the department’s decision to stop distributing water to farmers living along the banks of the Chao Phraya River in 22 provinces.

More than 12,000 rai of rice paddies in Khon Kaen province have been affected from a dry spell, leaving rice plants dehydrated and eventually dying off. The surviving plants have also been damaged by the rice blast disease, causing losses up to 7,000 rai.

This year’s drought is regarded as the worst in the decade. Relevant government agencies have gone down to the area to inspect the damages so that help could be provided.

Farmers in the Tapan Hin and Bang Mun Nak Districts in Phichit province have also been informed about the Irrigation Department’s decision to stop supplying water, as the water levels in major dams and reservoirs remain critically low and pose immediate risk of water shortages.

Therefore, farmers have been advised to refrain from planting off-season rice. However, other assistance measures would be applied instead such as providing career training workshops outside the agricultural industry and giving farmers the incentive to plant crops that consume less water.