Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thai farmers in dire need of rain year after year

My Sinchew via the Nation (Thailand): Around this time every year, Thailand experiences drought, which affects millions of people, especially farmers, whose livelihoods depend on rainfall. We should have learned how to deal with this by now. It's time for the government and relevant agencies to come up with ways to mitigate the effects of water shortages. We need a long-term solution.

The recent proposal by the agriculture ministry to give affected farmers cash handouts may ease the pain for a while, but such measures offer only an immediate, temporary solution. Combating drought requires a sustainable solution. Natural disasters always recur, and water deficiencies will continue to affect our lives.

It is estimated that drought this year will affect more than 1.7 million households in 50 provinces. More than 6 million Thais are affected by the extreme dry season. Drought not only depletes water reserves, but also causes damage to fields and plantations. The lack of rainfall also affects those not directly involved in agriculture, as some waterways are used for transportation of goods and passengers.

Agriculture is of course the most affected sector, as it consumes more than two-thirds of the country's water supply. Being the world's largest rice exporter, the country's water crisis could have a severe impact on rice output as farmers are forced to reduce their rice harvesting cycles.

Another problem is that the decrease in the amount of water that flows into dams can be attributed to a high level of water consumption upstream. The issue must be addressed from both supply and demand sides. Effective irrigation systems should be developed to ensure a sustainable supply of water. The pipe and storage infrastructure should be constantly checked and improved to prevent unnecessary waste of water through leakage or corrosion....

Rice farmers who are transplanting in Chaiyapun, Thailand, are members of the local community to manages the supply of the agricultural water. This picture was taken by TORIKAI Yukihiro, a Japanese economist, in 2004/09/01. Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License

1 comment:

health said...

I like this blog.I understand the problem of Thailand people.They suffered poverty.In this time the goverment should provide financialaids.Rainfall is the major
problem, I know.