2.8 million rai of farmland damaged by drought so far

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About 2.8 million rai of rice, other cash crops and fruit orchards in and outside irrigation areas have been damaged by drought affecting some 272,000 farming households, according to the Office of Agricultural Economics.

Latest survey conducted by the Office of Agricultural Economics shows that out of 2.8 million rai of farmland ravaged by drought, there are two million rai of rice farmland, about 860,000 rai of other cash crops and about 5,000 rai of fruit orchards. Total damage was estimated at 15.5 billion baht which was broken down into 8.5 billion baht for rice, 6.8 billion baht for other cash crops and the rest for fruit orchards.

Northern provinces account for most damage estimated at 6.9 billion baht or 45 percent of the total damage followed by the northeastern region’s 6.2 billion baht in damage or 40 percent of total damage.

The government has introduced eight measures and 45 projects worth about 32 billion baht to help ease the impacts from drought. So far, about 11 billion baht has been dispensed.

The Meteorological Department has predicted that rainy season this year would arrive in May and more rains are expected which is a good sign, said Mr Surapong Jiasakul, secretary-general of the Office of Agricultural Economics.