Min of Agriculture and Cooperatives only allows rice to be grown on 3.4 million rai for now


BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 – The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has advised farmers that the irrigated water supply to over 3.4 million rai of rice paddies won’t be affected by the decision to reduce the amount of water released from four major dams.

The Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Pitipong Puengboon Na Ayutthaya said many farmers who have not yet begun to grow rice have been asked to postpone their rice planting until the end of July.

The Royal Irrigation Department had decided to lower the amount of water released into the irrigation system by half two days earlier. There is a total of 7.4 million rai of farmland in 22 provinces which receive an irrigated water supply from the Chao Praya River.

Around four million rai will have to wait until there is enough rain at the end of next month to grow rice. The Minister said the remaining farmers need to be aware of the current situation and follow the advice being given.

The Department of Royal Artificial Rain-making and Agricultural Aviation has been advised to monitor the weather conditions. It will then be ready to launch a rain making operation to increase the water levels in the dams whenever needed.