Low rainfall and high temperatures are destroying crops across Laos. Illustrative image (Photo: Vientiane Times)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – Low rainfall and high temperatures are destroying the crops of Lao farmers across the country, local daily Vientiane Times reported.

Speaking with reporters on July 23, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry of Laos Bounkhuang Khambounheuang said that wet season rice transplantation is only 40 percent complete due to the lack of rain, adding that exact figures concerning damaged crops had not been reported.

The Laos’ Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has told provincial and district authorities to send officials to help farmers immediately, Bounkhuang said.

Agriculture officials might encourage farmers to grow other crops that result in higher economic returns. Those who have borrowed money from banks need to report to authorities regarding the amount of damaged crops so the government can help negotiate with the banks, he added.

The Lao Meteorology and Hydrology Department issued a forecast suggesting that there will be more rainfall at the end of July and early August. The rainfall will result in a gradual rise in the level of the Mekong River and its main tributaries.-VNA