Farmers in Savannakhet Report Water Shortage for Crop Production

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A farmer plants rice in Laos. ( Photo: World Bank).

Farmers in Savannakhet are facing a significant challenge this dry season as provincial authorities report a lack of water resources that is hindering crop production.

According to officials, the Champhone District is experiencing a shortage of natural water resources, making it difficult for crops to flourish.

Khonesavanh Douagmala, Deputy Head of the Agriculture and Forestry Office in the district, confirmed during an interview with the local media that several villages in the district lack sufficient water resources to plant rice and other crops.

Although farmers in some parts of the district have managed to harvest some agricultural products this season, this accounts for just 3% of the total agricultural land in the area.

To address the issue, district officials have been pumping water from the Xe Champhone Wetlands to the reservoir and delivering it to agricultural land. However, this solution is only a temporary measure.

Cassava farming is a vital source of income for around 1,400 families in the district, and this year, they harvested 14,000 tons of cassava from an area of 1,277 hectares. However, the current water scarcity is jeopardizing this vital source of income.

Laos has previously faced severe drought due to low rainfall and high temperatures, causing adverse effects on the country’s food security and farmers’ livelihoods. The ongoing water scarcity in Savannakhet comes at a time when the country is preparing to celebrate the Lao New Year, which involves water-based festivities.