Minister visits severely drought-hit central province

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat on July 5 met with leaders in the central province of Binh Dinh, where has been hit with a rigorous drought.

It has not rained for the last six months in the province, depleting 116 out of 165 reservoirs and causing water shortage over wide areas.

13,000 hectares of plants have been withered, which might increase to 21,000 hectares if there is no rain in the next two weeks.

Nearly 19,000 households are undergoing water shortage. The number is expected to account for one third of the province’s population by the end of this month.

Such drought is unprecedented in the province, said Le Huu Loc, chairman of the province’s People’s Committee.

Minister Phat said that the weather would be very complex this year so Binh Dinh should guide farmers to cultivate high quality corn and rice varieties to increase resistance ability.

He instructed the province to synthesize a report on the drought condition which will be sent to the Prime Minister for emergency aids.

The province should advance money from its budget reserve to help residents cope with the drought and the ministry will assist to improve the irrigation systems and build more reservoirs, he added.

By Ha Minh – Translated by Hai Mien

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