Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development has stressed that drought prevention is an urgent task in the time ahead as severe and large-scale drought is forecast for 2015.

During his recent working session with the Directorate of Water Resources (DWR), the Departments of Cultivation and Animal Husbandry, Phat urged the agencies to make detailed plans to respond to the situation.

He asked the Department of Cultivation to assist drought-prone localities in planning the use of available water resources for farming, while the Department of Animal Husbandry must take measures to ensure food for cattle.

Drought has been occurring in a number of areas in the central region and the Central Highlands, according to Nguyen Van Tinh, DWR deputy director.

He said his agency has worked with Binh Dinh province, the hardest-hit locality, to map out a detailed response plan for next year.

The National Hydrometeorology Forecasting Centre reported that water shortage is likely to occur in many localities, especially those along the central coast in the coming dry season, with negative impacts on the 2014-15 Winter-Spring and the 2015 Summer-Autumn crops.-VNA