Prime Minister asks farmers to delay off-season cultivation amid drought


BANGKOK, 11 September 2015 – Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has requested cooperation from rice farmers in postponing their cultivation of off-season crops as the drought crisis continues. 

In his televised address, Prime Minister Prayut informed the public of the water situation at 17 major dams, saying they are currently holding water at only 30 percent of the total capacity. In order to avoid damage from the shortage of water, he encouraged rice growers to defer their planting of off-season crops and turn to drought-resistant plants instead. Should any of them need help, the premier suggested them to contact the government, the provincial administrative offices or any related agencies.

Gen Prayut made known that a database of farmers will be set up while occupational support will be provided for them. The government will also ensure the highest efficiency of responsible state officials through close supervision and evaluation.

In the meantime, the premier revealed that additional reservoirs are being built throughout the country, starting in areas troubled by repeated drought. He has also instructed concerned ministries to jointly oversee the promotion of agricultural zoning and offer any necessary support to farmers.