Drought to damage almost half a million rice fields in Central Plain

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Drought which is affecting several parts of Thailand will ruin almost half a million rai of rice fields in the central region.

This was disclosed by Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister General Chatchai Sarikulya at a meeting yesterday to discuss the drought situation.

Gen Chatchai said rice fields likely to be affected by the water shortage are those grown off-season, while farmers who grew their seasonal  crops won’t be affected as they were all harvested.

They are rice fields grown along the Chao Phraya river in the Central region, and more than 400,000 rai are expected to be damaged by drought.

According to the minister, off-season rice covered a total of 3.05 million rai along the Chao Phraya River,  1.98 million rai of which was  grown within the irrigation zone and the remaining planted outside the zone.

Rice harvest is finished only for 940,000 rai of off-season rice fields,he said.

He said he has ordered the deputy permanent secretary for Agriculture and Cooperatives to work out long term water use and farming areas in all provinces by this month.