Sunday, November 17, 2019

Rice Department readies seeds for flood/drought affected farmers

Oct 17. 2019
Praphat Phothasuthon
Praphat Phothasuthon
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By THE NATION

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Deputy Agriculture and Cooperative Minister Praphat Phothasuthon said on Wednesday (Octpber 16) that the Cabinet has approved plans to aid farmers affected by drought and floods in 2019 through five projects with a total budget of Bt3.12 billion.

“One of the projects was assigned to the Rice Department to improve the quality and quantity of rice production for the crop year 2020/2021,” he said. “This project aims to deliver 63,200 tonnes of high-quality rice seeds to 827,000 farmers to grow in 6.32 million rai of rice paddy.”

Praphat further explained that the Rice Department has been allocated a budget of Bt1.7 billion to deliver 10 kg of rice seeds per rai to eligible farmers with a maximum of 10 rai per household. “Non-photosensitive rice seeds have been delivered since May and will continue until December, while photosensitive rice seeds will be delivered starting March 2020,” he said.

“The Agriculture and Cooperative Ministry also tasked the Department of Water Resources to make sure that the reservoirs and irrigation systems can support rice farmers especially those with large paddy fields as well as the community enterprises of rice growers,” Praphat added. “Meanwhile, Department of Groundwater Resources has been told to sink additional groundwater holes at 700 sites along with solar-powered water pumping stations. It is expected that water from both departments will be adequate for at least 166,000 rai of rice paddy nationwide.”

“The Rice Department is also raising its target of producing high quality rice seeds from 85,000 tonnes annually in 2019 to at least 200,000 tonnes annually in 2020,” said the deputy minister.

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