Cambodia rice production losses caused by droughts came to an estimated $100 million in the Kingdom, a Ministry of Environment report said.
The Fourth State of Environment Report and Cambodia Forest Cover 2018, released on September 23, said droughts from 2015 to 2019 in Cambodia had affected more than 1 million hectares of rainy season rice fields, of which 201,490 hectares were completely damaged.
Rainy season ice fields damaged by the drought over these five years had affected a total of 624,262 tonnes of rice production, valued at an estimated $100 million, read the report.
The report said that drought in Cambodia in 2015 damaged 41,469 hectares of rice fields, leading to a loss of $21 million. In 2016, it damaged 6,751 hectares of rice fields, resulting in an economic loss of $8.5 million.
In 2017, drought damaged 13,306 hectares of rice fields, resulting in an economic loss of $6.7 million, while 58,490 hectares were damaged in 2018, leading to an economic loss of $30 million. In 2019, the drought in Cambodia damaged 71,474 hectares of rice fields, leading to an economic loss of $37 million.
Drought is considered the most serious climate-related disaster, affecting up to 83% of total agricultural damage and losses, according to a Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report in 2018.
Ngin Chhay, director-general of Agriculture at the Ministry of Agriculture, declined to comment on the issue when reached yesterday.
Minister of Agriculture Veng Sakhon recently outlined a study on water and soil management using climate-wise farming techniques that can help farmers adapt to climate change and increase their rice yields at the same time.
The ministry pays attention to providing knowledge, skills, sharing experiences and increasing the dissemination of new techniques that are weather-smart to farmers and farming communities in the provinces, Sakhon had said on September 18.
The General Department of Agriculture was conducting a study on climate-friendly water and land management methods, he said.
“The General Department of Agriculture has consistently carried out its core roles and responsibilities, paying close attention to strengthening the capacity of stakeholders and farmers on water and land management in response to the context of climate change in Cambodia and the world,” Sakhon said.
The department launched the study on smart and climate-friendly farming techniques on water and land management, by applying the Alternate Wetting and Drying AWD technique on rice in vulnerable areas.
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