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Xekong may face rice shortage

Xekong may face rice shortage
Vientiane Times, 20 April 2010
Dry season rice cultivation in Xekong province has declined this year,
although prices for the grain remain steady.
Sticky rice costs 5,000 kip per kg and normal rice 8,000 kip a kg, the
prices as for the previous five months, according to a report from the
provincial Industry and Commerce Department.
This dry season, farmers around the province planted less rice than
planned by provincial agricultural authorities, said provincial
agriculture section Deputy Head, Mr Bansa Kiewmek.
The provincial authorities were hoping farmers would plant 850
hectares of rice yielding 4.5 tonnes per hectare, but only 400
hectares were planted.
The low figure was mainly due to water shortages, low levels of river
basins and streams, and insufficient water for irrigation systems to
operate effectively, Mr Bansa said.
Next dry season the provincial Agriculture and Forestry Department
will try to increase rice yields in upland areas by using new
techniques to ensure sufficient supply for local consumption.
According to the government, each person should have access to at
least 350 kg of rice per year, but residents of Xekong province only
receive an average of 320 kg each as there is limited land suitable
for cultivating rice.
On average people in the province only have enough rice to last for 10
months of the year, so the province must buy stocks from neighbouring
provinces or Vientiane to meet requirements, Mr Bansa said.
Some farming families grow coffee and raise livestock to earn extra
income to purchase rice for consumption.
“Farmers around the province are now harvesting their dry season rice
crops but we can not yet confirm the exact yield figures,” Mr Bansa
Families in Dakcheung and Lamam districts in particular face rice
shortages because they are in upland areas.
“We also aim to encourage farmers to produce more commercial crops to
boost their family's income,” said Mr Bansa. He expects the province
will be self-sufficient in terms of rice cultivation within the next
year or two.
Mr Bansa said tropical storm Ketsana, which struck the province last
year, dealt a heavy blow to the local economy, with many people having
to start earning their livelihoods all over again.
Assistance from the government and international organisations only
provided short-term relief for those who lost everything to the storm.
“A high priority is repairing all irrigation systems damaged by the
storm to ensure there is sufficient water for agricultural areas in
both the dry and wet seasons,” said Mr Bansa.



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Typhoon Ketsana: the European Commission provides € 7million humanitarian funding for Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam

24 September 2009

The European Commission is providing a further €7 million in humanitarian aid to help victims of Typhoon Ketsana and Typhoon Mirinae in South East Asia. The new funds are for humanitarian assistance projects to assist the most affected populations in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. This support is fresh funding in addition to the € 2 million in fast-track funding provided by the Commission within 48 hours of Typhoon Ketsana hitting the central Vietnamese coast and subsequently Laos and Cambodia on 29 September 2009.

For Laos the new funds are being allocated to humanitarian projects worth some € 2.22 million, which will be channelled through partner NGO and UN Agency. Four projects are envisaged for


Supporting multisectoral assistance (food, livelihood, disaster preparedness) in Attapeu Province;

Rehabilitation of schools in Attapeu Province;

Food distribution, water sanitation and health in Sekong and Attapeu provinces; and

Food distribution in Savannaket, Saravan, Sekong and Attapeu provinces.

Tropical storm Ketsana caused severe flooding, resulted in the financial damage of more than 1800 billion Kip (eq. 145 MEUR) and has claimed lives, destroyed houses and inundated rice fields in the southern provinces of Sekong, Attapeu and Saravan.

"This additional funding will mainly respond to the need of further humanitarian assistance, in sectors such as food and non food items, shelter, water and sanitation, livelihood rehabilitation and health care. I hope that this new assistance will help the most affected populations in Laos restore their living condition" said Mr. Henry Parkerd, Chargé d'Affaires of the Delegation of the European Union to Laos.

The European Commission regularly provides emergency support to victims of weather-related disasters in the region through non-governmental relief organisations, specialised UN agencies and the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement. Laos already received in late October €400,000 in fast-track humanitarian aid to victims of Typhoon Ketsana for food aid and fundamental emergency needs of the affected people in southern provinces.


-- Edited by khonthakek on Tuesday 20th of April 2010 10:48:23 AM



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