Farmers Fear Lack of Rain Will Hurt Rice Crop

Despite assurances from au­thorities that the water level in Pursat and Battambang prov­inces is adequate for this year’s rice harvest, residents are concerned they may face a drought, farmers said Saturday.

Several Pursat farmers said the water level of the Tonle Sap is lower than in previous years, and they suspect it is a sign that a drought may hit the area.

“I am very surprised because the water from the Tonle Sap in August and September is usually getting close to my house,” said Leang Tony, a farmer who lives along National Route 5 in Pursat. But he said the water so far has not  reached his house.

Another Battambang farmer, Suon Nin, said he fears that drought could damage the season’s crops. “There is water in my rice field, but it is not enough to cultivate and plant,” Suon Nin said. “I am waiting for more rains.”

Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology Lim Kean Huor, however, said more rain is on the way.

“Don’t worry about having no water—more rain is coming from today onward, and there will be heavy rains soon,” Lim Kean Huor said Sunday. “It will be enough for the whole country.”

More storms are forecast for the remainder of the rainy season, he said, adding that there are currently 27 major storms across the Asia-Pacific region. He did not say if any would cross Cambodia.


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