Home » » Cambodia offers farmers fund to fight against drought

Cambodia offers farmers fund to fight against drought

Written By vibykhmer on Saturday, August 22, 2009 | 12:13 AM

People's Daily Online

August 20, 2009

Cambodian government has already activated a 12-million-U.S.-dollar emergency package to help farmers fight a drought taking hold across the country, localmedia reported on Thursday.

"We hope that through this measure, our agricultural sector will still be able to achieve high yields and we will be able to ameliorate declines in the living standards of our farmers," Kong Vibol, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Economy and Finance,was quoted by the Phnom Penh Post as telling the National Assembly.

Around 42,414 hectares of the 2.26 million hectares of rice hadbeen hit by drought this year, and 517 hectares of rice crops had been destroyed, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

Drought had affected 13,706 hectares of rice paddy in Battambang province, 12,379 hectares in Pursat province, 8,527 hectares in Prey Veng province, 5,528 hectares in Kandal province,2,502 hectares in Takeo province and 172 hectares in Kampong Thom province, the ministry said.

Ministry of Agriculture Secretary of State Teng Lao said the ministry and provincial authorities have already deployed resources to help farmers save their rice crops, but that damage remained unavoidable in some areas.

Drought is a particular problem for Cambodia, as the proportionof land irrigated is among the lowest in the region. That means most areas produce only one crop a year, during the wet season.

Agriculture generated around 29 percent of gross domestic product in 2007, and 59 percent of the population relies on the sector for their livelihoods, according to the World Bank.

Output has been growing at 4.4 percent per year over the past decade, lagging other sectors of the economy but out-pacing neighboring Laos and Vietnam, whose agricultural sectors grew 3.9 and 4 percent, respectively, over the period.

Rice covered 2.6 million hectares in 2007, accounting or two-thirds of arable land and 90 percent of cultivated land, and production grew from 3.4 million to 6.8 million tons from 1997 to 2007, according to the U.N. Development Program.

Yields are low at around 2.6 tons per hectare, compared to regional average between 3.5 and four tonnes per hectare, the Postreported quoting the World Bank.

Source: Xinhua


Post a Comment