The country’s reservoirs have fallen to the lowest levels, Thailand drought free but still on water shortage–is in the midst of one of the worst droughts in its history since 1987.
The current dry spell has threatened the country’s rice production. Seven Thai provinces declared drought-free by the concerned authorities, but they are still experiencing water shortages because of inadequate rainfall.
The widespread drought has put brakes on the economic growth of Southeast Asia’s second largest economy.
According to National Disaster Warning Center, the country is struggling with drought conditions in seven out of 67 provinces in the Kingdom, last week.
On Tuesday, none of the provinces were suffering from drought, reported by the disaster center.
“The drought situation is over as we saw rainfall consecutively over the past week. However, there are few provinces that are experiencing no rainfall, especially in the north,” Anusorn Kaewkangwan, Director of Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.
Thailand is one of the world’s top rice producers with an average of 10 million tons exported every year and currently ranked second-biggest exporter of the crop.
Farmers’ nationwide plant rice in the month of June or July but they have been asked to hold off their main crop until August. The delay could cost farmers billion in losses and significant debt.
On Thailand drought, due to the water scarcity, Thailand has cut down its predicted annual rice crop by about 2 million tons.
Because of increased global demand, the rice price may rise as feared by many analysts.
The government is taking all the necessary steps to conserve water.
On Monday, Thailand’s Finance Ministry approved 60 billion baht loan to support the drought-affected farmers.
The cabinet yesterday approved another 30 billion baht budget for the water management plan to ensure sufficient supply of water for the next decade. IMAGE/AP