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12/05/2023 - 14:57

Thai farmers advised to reduce rice crops due to El Nino impacts

Thai farmers have been asked to grow only one rice crop this coming season as rainfall will be below average because of the El Nino weather pattern, said the Office of the National Water Resources (ONWR).

A Thai farmer harvests rice (Photo: Thai Visa)

ONWR Secretary-General Surasee Kittimonthon said that the rainy season, which normally begins in the third week of May, will start a bit later this year with a period of intermittent rain in June.

“We can provide water to farmers for the first rice crop, starting in the rainy season,” he said. “But for the second or third crops, we would like farmers’ cooperation to grow other plants that need less water to help limit the water shortage.”

On May 11, the office discussed water management for the rainy season with the Royal Irrigation Department, the Meteorological Department, the Department of Water Resources, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and other agencies.

As a result of El Nino, Surasee said rainfall may be 5% less than average. Heavy rainfall will be seen from August to September, covering 60-80% of the country.

He said that at least two tropical storms would hit the country in August and September, which can top up water in some dams. He also warned of heavy rain in the North, the Northeast and the East this weekend as Cyclone Mocha will reach Myanmar on May 13./.