Drought & smog still ravage Thailand


BANGKOK, 31 March 2013  The smog haze situation in the northern region is still critical while many provinces and farmers across the country continue to be hit by drought. 

In the southern province of Phang Nga, severe heat and the lack of rain have damaged the watermelon farms in Takua Pa District.

In the northern province of Lamphun, Bird’s eye chili farmers have also been affected by the dry spell, which has spoiled or even damaged their produce. The chili farmers are also losing out in making profits after its average price has increased from 15 baht to 80 baht a kilogram.

In Chiang Rai, severe drought has also taken its toll on the quality of soy beans, while farmers are now only able to sell their produce at just 10 baht a kilogram.

Meanwhile, forest fire and smog haze have continued to wreak havoc in the North, particularly in Nan Province, where smog has covered a wide area after farmers burned land for agricultural use.

In Chiang Rai, the haze problem has improved slightly following a downpour and night-long wind in Mae Sai and parts of Mueang Chiang Rai districts on Friday night.

The latest air quality test found dust particle in Mae Sai District dropped from 235 to 150 micrograms per cubic meter, while the average reading was 192 micrograms per cubic meter in Chiang Rai Province.