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Agriculture ministry seeking funds to repair damaged irrigation systems

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will accelerate cooperation with provincial officials in seeking funding to repair flood-affected irrigation systems and help farmers plant dry season crops.
Almost 600 irrigation projects have been affected by heavy flooding that resulted from tropical storms Son-tinh and Bebinca last month.
Ministry officials said any extra funding they received would be added to farmers’ production funds so that more crops could be cultivated in the dry season from November to April.
The ministry has set a target to increase the area of land under cultivation in 2018-2019 from 177,000 hectares to 185,000 hectares.
Some 986 tonnes of series 3 rice seeds will be stored by the ministry and 500 tonnes of series 1 and series 2 seeds are expected to be harvested by the end of this year. The rice seeds will be distributed to farmers to plant in the dry season to replace crops lost on 110,000 hectares of flooded fields.
Despite the floods, it is expected that this year’s rainy season rice crop will achieve 96 percent of the target,or 784,000 hectares.
Deputy Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone advised the authorities to follow weather alerts issued by the Meteorology and Hydrology Department,keep local communities informed of weather events, and be prepared to cope with natural disasters.
Economists say the recent flooding hascaused about 527 billion kip worth of damage to crops and farmland.
Floods have damaged roads and irrigation systems and swamped farming families’ crops, rice stores and paddy fields.
As a result of the floods, many farming households in rural communities are struggling to stay above the poverty line and keep up with debt repayments owed to banks.
This will cause economic hardship and negate advances made in poverty reduction in flood-hit areas.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update
September 15,

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