Drop in water reserves reduces Thai rice harvest for next year
Land devoted to rice paddy will be reduced by 3 million rai this year due to a drop in water reserves.
Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Praphat Phothasuthon said on Tuesday that the ministry will provide subsidies for rice farmers during the 2021/2022 crop year and that only 66 million rai will be devoted to growing rice. He said less land is being devoted to rice this year because the water for in-season rice is significantly less than the previous year.
“The subsidy will cover five types of rice, namely hom mali [jasmine rice], hom Thai, round-grain rice, sticky rice and special rice,” he added.
“Only a total of 11.1 billion cubic metres of water is available in different reservoirs nationwide, while the amount required for the entire year is 32.3 billion cubic metres,” he said.
“Also, the Meteorological Department has forecast a reduction in rainfall in the second half of the year, with a dry spell expected from late June to mid-July.”
Praphas added that the ministry has ordered the Royal Irrigation Department to prepare for drought and to start rationing the water until July 20.
“If farmers want to plant a new crop, they should consider doing so after mid-August, when some rainfall is expected,” he said.