PHNOM PENH (The Phnom Penh/Asia News Network): Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon said up to 67,942ha of rice crop, or 2.56 per cent of the total paddy fields cultivated across the country, had been affected by drought.
Four provinces bearing the brunt include Banteay Meanchey, Kandal, Pursat and Siem Reap, accounting for 10,553ha with only 2,376ha having been saved.
Sakhon said that as of Aug 19, the harvest of early-season rice -- short-term rice cultivars sown and also harvested in the rainy season -- reached 302,337ha out of the planned 890,645ha.
“Rice harvest at the beginning of this season is 1,267,791 tonnes, an increase of 789,151 tonnes over the same period last year. It is estimated that a hectare of paddy field yields 4.19 tonnes of rice,” Sakhon said.
For horticulture, which includes crops like white corn, sweet potatoes, chillies, watermelon and all kinds of vegetables cultivation reached 51,537ha, or nearly 96 per cent of the total plan of 63,696ha, indicating a decrease of 165ha compared to the same period last year.
For cash crops including red corn, cassava, mung beans, peanuts, soybean, sesame, sugarcane, jute and lotus cultivation reached 766,375ha, or over 93 per cent of the planned 819,989ha, representing an increase of 7,944ha over the same period last year.
“As of the third week of August, rainy season rice cultivation is faster than last year, having reached 2,658,756ha, equivalent to 101.9 per cent of the plan. Over the same period last year, it was merely 94.74 per cent,” Sakhon said.