Heavy rains disrupt rice cultivation

Generally, in Cambodia, the rainy season lasts from about mid-April to October, and roughly follows a curve that goes in crescendo, rare showers in the form of thunderstorms in April and May and more continuous showers in September and October .

But this year there have already been heavy rains and this unpredictability of the weather is affecting the plantations.

Farmers delay planting

Thus, farmers in Siem Reap province, for example, delay planting to avoid damaging their crops.

There, according to a report from the provincial department of agriculture, 425 millimeters of rain have fallen so far in the province, compared to 122 millimeters in the same period in 2021, almost four times more than a year ago.

Red Than, a farmer who grows two hectares of rice in the village of Kriel Pong, told Cambodianess that it rains so much this year that she and other farmers in her area have hardly been able to plant rice, and that planting the rice was damaged by rain.

This year there is more rainfall than last year. So farming is very difficult,” Than said. This year… it’s already been five months since the planting season started and I haven’t started yet.

advice from the authorities

On May 24, Siem Reap provincial agricultural authorities issued a notice urging farmers to speed up plowing and planting of rice, as continuous rains may lead to flooding.

They also advised farmers to prepare rice seeds to replant in case their fields are flooded and their first crop is damaged.

“Prepare the land well and be ready to pump water from the fields when it stops raining, as well as plow and cultivate crops on time”the notice says.

For deep-sea rice that cannot be sown, the ministry recommends farmers switch to transplanting, reduce the amount of rice seed, and use natural fertilizers instead of chemical fertilizers.

the whims of time

In recent years, Siem Reap province has experienced prolonged drought. By 2021, more than 14,000 hectares of paddy fields had been damaged by lack of rain in the province.

And this year it is the showers that affect the crops. According to the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, farmers should not expect larger rice harvests this year as the heavy rains are expected to last until the end of the season, ie around September.

Chum Chanta

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