Rice Planting Season Back on Track After Good Rains, Officials Say

Sufficient rains last month have helped farmers across the country to speed up planting their rice paddies after a late start to the rainy season had initially caused a delay in planting this year, officials said yesterday, adding more than 80 percent of the nation’s rice fields have now been planted.

Chan Heng, administrative office director of the Ministry of Agriculture’s department of administrative affairs, said farmers in areas that until a few weeks ago suffered from local droughts had since been able to transplant rice seedlings onto their paddies. He explained that by late August 1,860,607 hectares of rice had been planted nationwide.

Mr Heng said this area covered about 82 percent of the expected total rice cultivation area this year, adding the current area planted is only about 5 percent less than during the same period last year.

“The planting is less because of the rain factor,” he said, adding only Kompong Chhnang and Svay Rieng provinces were lagging behind in terms of areas planted.

In early August officials had said farmers had planted about 20 percent less than during the same period last year due to local droughts in several provinces.

Kith Seng, undersecretary of state at the Agriculture Ministry, said yesterday that good rains in August had allowed for more rapid planting of rice across the country last month. “Right now there are good rains, there is no problem,” he said.

Yang Saing Koma, director of the Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture, also said most farmers across the country had now completed rice planting. “In more and more places there are more farmers who have planted their rice,” he said.

Mr Saing Koma said the rainy season would last for another five weeks and rice production would depend on the amount of rainfall in the next few weeks. “If there is little or no rain in the next three, four weeks than we have to worry,” he said.

 

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