Drought has been affecting several countries across Asia.
In Indonesia, an unusually long dry spell in several rice-producing regions are raising prospects of higher imports for a second year. Some 20,000 hectares of rice fields in Java, where paddy cultivation is mainly concentrated, were damaged.
Farmers in Lao PDR, which is suffering from its lowest seasonal rainfall in decades, has delayed rice production in the country’s 800,000 hectares of wet-season rice fields. At present, only 45% of 34,000 hectares of wet-season rice fields have been transplanted.
The Thai Government is urging farmers to delay planting rice as the severe drought has created a water shortage. Agriculture depends heavily on the Mekong River, which is at a critically low level and water reservoirs are at less than 20% their capacity.
The delayed monsoon in southern areas of Bengal, India has also forced rice growers to delay paddy transplantation. Although farmers usually resort to irrigation pumps when monsoons are delayed, current water levels in canals are low forcing them to hire pumps for longer periods and increasing production costs.
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