Cambodia: Rice yields drop slightly due to drought hinh anh 1 A farmer works in a rice paddy field outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia. (Photo: Reuters)

Phnom Penh (VNA) Rice yields of this dry season in Cambodia slightly dropped from a year earlier due to drought and water shortage, said Eang Sophalleth, spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The Khmer Daily quoted the spokesman as saying that farmers across the nation are flocking to harvest rice crops timely before the rainy season comes.

Sophalleth said as of March 25, about 40,000 hectares of rice fields have been collected, accounting for 78.4 percent of the cultivated 50,000 hectares. The yield amounted more than 1.6 million tonnes, 1 percent less than the previous year.

The decline was caused by drought that triggered water shortage for farming in some regions, he explained.

In response to the drought, the Ministry has educated farmers on how to switch to other rice varieties that are grafted to climate sensitivity, he added.

According to Chan Yutha, spokesman for the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, the ministry has taken steps to support drought-hit residents in the dry season and provide water supply for daily use for affected provinces.

The two ministries reported that three provinces have suffered the most, including Kongpong Cham, Kongpong Thom and Banteay Meanchey, while ten others are facing shortage in water supply for agriculture and daily use if little or no rain falls.-VNA