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Provincial Drought Worries Farmers

Drought in Kampong Thom province has farmers in the area worried over impending hardship.

Rainfall has been short, and farmers who rely on Cambodia's monsoon season fret they won't produce enough food for their families and income. "Right now I am worried," said Stoung town farmer Buth Chorn, who has six children. "This year I am a victim to this extended drought…. Next year, I will definitely be needy again, meaning I will starve."

Preah Damrey Commune Chief Mith Salang, from the opposition Sam Rainsy Party, told VOA Khmer farmers from more than 1,200 families in his commune could only plant one season of rice due to lack of water.

In normal years, farmers can plant two seasons of the staple.

"The town has no capacity" to help drought-stricken farmers, Ang Ky, chief of Stoung town, said.

Local representatives were being sent to assess villagers' needs, he said.

"Whatever the villagers lost because of the drought, like seeds, then the town will help intervene and contact the provincial agricultural authorities and other institutions," he said.