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Wet season harvests reveal rice yields

Wet season harvests reveal rice yields

Vientiane Times, 30 Oct 2009

Every year during the harvest of wet season rice, insects such as the
green leafhopper inflict damage on yields.

With this in mind, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is joining
with local authorities in provinces around the country to prevent such

Savannakhet and Saravan provinces in particular have been affected by
insect infestations, according to a report from the ministry.

Farmers around the country have now finished harvesting about 33,000
hectares of rice after beginning earlier this month.

This wet season the ministry expected Lao farmers to plant 645,000
hectares of rice, but they were able to plant 679,500 hectares, or
about 105 percent of the target figure.

Some crops were damaged by insects, rodents and flooding, especially
following tropical storm Ketsana which destroyed 19,400 hectares in
the three provinces of Saravan, Xekong and Attapeu last month.

However, the government is trying to provide assistance for flood
victims, and the ministry has supplied seeds for sweetcorn and other
vegetables in order to boost food security.

Wet season rice in Saravan province has been hit by damage to more
than 7,000 hectares thanks to Ketsana and the green leafhopper,
according to a report from the provincial agriculture section.

Agriculture section technical staff member Ms Thevar Sidaduangchay
said farmers were able to plant 68,990 hectares, slightly less than
the target figure of 69,600 set by provincial authorities.

She said farmers were now harvesting, and had completed 19,200 of some
67,900 hectares of rice.

Both rice and commercial crops were severely affected by natural
disasters, leaving several families with little or no food to eat nor
produce to sell in the markets.

Many were forced to reduce the number and size of their meals and to
spend time and effort finding food for the day instead of working in
their fields, particularly farmers in Ta-oy, Toumlane and Samuoy

Farmers in Xekong province are harvesting, and have cut 13 percent of
the 7,570 hectares of rice planted.

The provincial plan had called for cultivation of 7,380 hectares,
according to a report from provincial authorities.

However, the official figures do not take into account the area of
rice destroyed by Ketsana, and they will have to wait until harvesting
has been completed before updating the figure.

Both provinces are set to finish wet season rice harvesting by the end
of next month.

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