Working in the wet rice fields of Laos

Working in the wet rice fields of Laos
Wet season rice production in Laos is expected to be reduced by about 300,000 tons after widespread flooding this year that affected many parts of the country.

The Lao government, especially the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, has encouraged farmers around the country to produce 3.5 million tons of rainy season rice, but authorities expected the harvest to achieve about 3.2 million tons, local daily Vientiane Times on Friday quoted the ministry officials as saying.

A total of 101,000 hectares of wet season rice were impacted by flooding, about 12 percent of the total planted area of 817,800 hectares. Some 66,000 hectares of the rice crop was estimated to have been destroyed by this year's deluge in Laos.

Consequently, to ensure food security and commercial sustainability, the Lao Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry ordered that technical teams be assigned to joint local agricultural authorities to rehabilitate production capacity after the flooding.

Under close cooperation across various sectors, the ministry will encourage farmers to plant 100,000 hectares of rice and 185,000 hectares of other crops in this coming dry season.

The irrigation sector will guarantee to supply water for this dry season, covering about 89,150 hectares of rice and 65,000 hectares of other crops, General Director of the Irrigation Department Maykong Phonephommavong told local media recently.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is planning technical training for farmers during the dry season in a bid to boost yields and the overall harvest.