Cambodia needs 6,500 tons of food for shortages

News and Press Release
Originally published
PHNOM PENH, Oct 29, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Some 6,500 tons of food were needed to help nearly 700,000 Cambodians most devastated by the country's worst drought in nearly a decade to get through the end of the year, the Cambodia Daily reported Tuesday.

After weeks of examining the short-term food supply in the country, the World Food Program has determined that more than 671, 000 people are in need of 6,454 tons of food aid immediately.

The UN food agency looked at districts over eight provinces stricken by this year's drought and set the food needs on four criteria: the poverty of the people's districts, the rice dependency, rice production and other crop production in their districts.

It was said earlier that the drought has cost 30 million US dollars worth of damages to the country.

More than 221,471 hectares of rice fields were ruined by the drought, which forced farmers to give up more than 28 percent of cultivable farmlands. At the same time, only less than 37 percent of rice fields have been planted before the floods.

Cambodian farmers usually plant their crops between May and early September and harvest the rice from November to February.

Rice farming is one of the main economic pillars for Cambodia, but the lack of effective irrigation forced farmers to rely heavily on monsoon rains.

Copyright 2002 XINHUA NEWS AGENCY.

Copyright (c) 2002 Comtex News Network
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 10/28/2002 23:43:14