Thai crops to suffer worst drought in 15 years

5 February 2015

Thailand will experience its worst drought in more than a decade this year, the irrigation department said on Thursday, damaging crops in one of the world’s biggest rice-exporting nations.

Thailand was currently battling drought in eight of 76 provinces, but 31 other provinces remained at risk, the Interior Ministry said, adding that it had allocated around 6.8 billion baht ($208.65 million) to alleviate drought, up from 430 million baht ($13.19 million) last year.

The funds would be used to install water pumps and provide mobile water tanks in affected areas, it said.

“This year’s water levels are the worst in 15 years but we have managed our water supply so people can be confident that there will be no problems regarding water shortages,” said Lertwiroj Kowattana, director-general of the Royal Irrigation Department.

Drought will cut major rice exporter Thailand’s 2015 off-season crop by over 30 percent, according to the latest report from the Office of Agricultural Economics.

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