Thailand’s rice output may fall 6% due to El Nino hinh anh 1Farmers harvest rice in Roi Et province of Thailand. (Photo: AFP/VNA)
Bangkok (VNA) - Thailand’s rice output this year may drop by as much as 6% to 25.1 - 25.6 million tonnes due to impacts of the El Nino weather phenomenon, the Kasikorn Research Centre (KRC) forecast.

KRC predicted that the country’s total rice production this year will be between 32.7 and 33.2 million tonnes, including about 7.6 million tonnes from the second crop, which will be enough for domestic consumption and export.

However, the anticipated rice output may be much lower if the drought lingers and causes more damage to the crops, it warned.

The centre said if the El Nino phenomenon this year is further prolonged, it will cause a substantial drop in water levels in numerous reservoirs, affecting both main and second-crop cultivation next year.

KRC called on the agencies concerned to adjust their water management plans immediately to ensure that there is sufficient water for cultivation and other purposes.

Meanwhile, the Royal Irrigation Department of Thailand is urging farmers in the Chao Phraya River basin to suspend the second-crop cultivation.

Due to the attractive export price and global demand for Thai rice, many farmers still want to plant their second crop despite the risk of a water shortage, according to KRC./.