2.8 million rai of farmland destroyed by drought crisis

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BANGKOK, 1 April 2016 -The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives will adjust a water management plan to mitigate the impact on Songkran water-throwing festival.

Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister General Chatchai Sarikalaya said after attending a meeting to solve the drought crisis that there would still be enough water for household consumption until July.

He believed there would be more rainfall in April, which would benefit the farming sector. The Minister also indicated he would adjust the watermanagement plan to facilitate the Songkran celebrations but encouraged revelers to use water wisely during the holidays.

As for the farming sector, farmers have been told to grow crops that thrive well in dry weather conditions instead of growing off-season rice. More underground water wells and water retention areas have been developed across the country.

Surveys show more than 2.8 million rai of farmland have been destroyed by the drought with damages worth 15 billion baht in total. Moreover, farmers lost around six million tons of agricultural produce to water shortages.