006 – More or Less

“More or less, rainfall is likely to be my food,” said a 53-year-old man, Yie Chek, who lives in Angkor Chey commune, Angkor Chey district and Kampot province. He and other farmers now are concerning about facing water shortage for rice cultivation. News media reported that at least four provinces, such as Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampot and Svay Reing, are believed to have remarkably faced drought since there is only slight rain or no rain. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in new report publishing on August 6 that Cambodia’s rice production will fall this year due to the shortage of rainfall. Premier Hun Sen, on the other hand, has counter claimed Cambodian farmers have already been cultivated over 70 percent across the country. “Please [farmers] do not be hopeless about the continuity of long-term drought, because the wet season will last until December this year” said PM on August 15, 2012. Considered as the staple food of Cambodians, rice is mainly cultivated through traditional farming practices reported accounted for 80 percent of Cambodian farmers. Rice is basically produced during the wet season and the delay of drought has been threatening farmers’ seedlings and transplanted rice.

Mr. Yie Chek, 53, is throwing rice seeds into the rice paddy in Angkor Chey Leu village, Angkor Chey commune, Angkor Chey district, Kampot province. He said, “I am now worrisome about facing water shortage,” adding that, “my rice production this year would be reduced if there will exist of limited rainfall and drought still delay during this rainy season.’’

Yie Kong, 17 and Mr. Yie Chek’s son, is watering from another rice field into his paddy in order to help his father while there was a slightly rainfall yesterday after a long-day waiting.

According to Mr. Yie Chek, this irrigation system was used to be the helpful one nearly decades for rice cultivating. “Now, it has become a poor irrigation. We want related officials like district agricultural department, fixing the main reservoir to fulfill enough water,” he said.

Seong Thou, 35, is plowing his rice paddy to prepare for transplanting in Pral village, Tani commune, Angkor Chey district, Kampot province. He had pumped the water from the pond nearby.

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