Monsoon Rains Flood 45,362 Hectares of Paddies

Heavy rains have flooded 45,362 hectares of rice fields, with those living in the Central Lowlands and along the Mekong River the most heavily impacted
Fishermen in Oudong, Kandal province, June 18, 2022. Kiripost/Meas Molika
Fishermen in Oudong, Kandal province, June 18, 2022. Kiripost/Meas Molika

Heavy rains have caused more than 45,000 hectares of rice fields to flood as of September 7.

According to a report from the General Department of Agriculture, 45,362 hectares of rice fields were flooded due to heavy rains, of which 21,098 hectares were damaged in the provinces of Kampong Thom, Banteay Meanchey and Battambang.

In Kampong Thom, 12,493 hectares of paddies flooded, of which 7,657 hectares were damaged by September 7, according to the General Department of Agriculture.

A report from the Ministry of Agriculture of Kampong Thom province added that as of August 28, the impact of the rice field floods totaled 12,452 hectares of which 7,616 hectares were damaged; 155 families were affected across eight districts and 41 communes.

Director of the Department of Agriculture, Pen Vanrith, said the amount of water in Kampong Thom province has not yet reached a state of emergency.

“The water situation means a need to be careful, but as for an emergency, we do not have that yet and there is no evacuation of people to safety; it's okay,” he said.

President of Cambodian Farmer Community (CCFC), Theng Savoeun, said this year's floods have been a cause for concern, especially for people living in the central lowlands and along the Mekong River. He added this has the potential to affect people who depend on agriculture and their livelihoods.

“Of course, it always has an impact on the national economy, but the impact is more or less. If the flood is large and it causes a lot of flooding, affecting a lot of people, then the state must pay because the people need to use resources. If it hurts a little, it affects his family's economy.”

He added that in order to solve the problem, there needs to be transmission of information from the disaster management authorities and the preparation of materials, as well as a budget in advance to facilitate those impacted.

“Sharing information with the people is very important for solving all these problems, seed preparation is also a good factor,” Savoeun added.

According to a report by the Ministry of Agriculture on 8 June, during this year’s rainy season, the rainfall began to fall heavier than in previous years, which may affect the cultivation of rice fields. He said this will particularly impact the Central Lowlands area, where rice was sowed at the beginning of the rainy season and therefore more vulnerable to floods.

As of June, the speed of rice field cultivation was about 762,542 hectares, equivalent to 29.11 percent of the plan of 2,619,500 hectares. This is less than 2021, which was about 650,000 hectares.

“As a result, it undermines annual production plans and could lead to food insecurity and government policies to boost rice production and rice exports.”