Long Rainy Season to Help Increase Rice Yields

Farmers can expect better rice paddy yields this year compared to last year after the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology on Wednesday predicted that the rainy season would run from mid-May until November with only a short dry spell.

Announcing its prediction, the ministry said in a statement that it forecast average rainfall nationwide from the second week of May until mid-October, except for a short dry period of 10 to 15 days in late July or early August.

“From mid-October until the be­ginning of November rainfall will start to decrease,” the statement adds.

Chhong Sophal, agriculture development cooperative officer with the Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture, said that farmers should see high yields of rice if the ministry’s rainy season prediction is correct.

“There will not be challenges for farmers with the small dry season between the third week of July and the beginning of August if there was already enough rainfall,” Mr. Sophal said, adding that farmers should plant high-quality seeds and use natural fertilizers.

Takeo province farmer Larch Khly, 66, said he had already prepared his rice fields for planting once the rains start. “When the rain starts, we will plow the rice field and choose good seeds to grow,” he said. “I hope this year I will get a better yield of rice paddy and I hope we will not face a drought this season,” he said.

Last year, Mr. Khly said he harvested 2 to 3 tons of rice per hectare because of a monthlong drought, but he is expecting 4 tons per hec­tare if it rains more this year.

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