The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has provided 150 rice seeding machines to farmers in agricultural communities to speed up the recovery of rice production after the floods recede in the affected provinces.

Minister Veng Sakhon said the Pursat provincial Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries distributed 48 rice seeding machines to 48 farming communities on December 4.

Sakhon said 10 such machines were distributed to communities in Kandieng district, Pursat town (three), Krakor district (14), Talou Sen Chey district (four) and Phnom Kravanh district (three).

He said department officials also instructed the communities on how to use the seeding machines, which can be used as shared community property and be maintained for long term use.

On December 7, Sakhon said the seeding machines were provided to those in Pursat, Battambang and Banteay Meanchey provinces which were most affected by floods.

Pursat province’s Kampong Prak community representative Prak Chamnap said the machines would help save seeding time.

“Nowadays, nobody helps us as before. Some have gone to work in factories or migrated for other jobs as farming is tough. This machine saves seeding time when compared to doing it manually,” he said.

Banteay Meanchey provincial agriculture department director Pang Vannaseth said as of December 6, it had not yet received the rice seeding machines.

However, he confirmed that his province would receive 50 out of the 150 machines to support agricultural communities and promote the rehabilitation of rice crops affected by floods.

“My province might get 50 machines, but as of now, I haven’t received it,” said Vannaseth.

In a letter of appreciation sent on December 7 to Senior Minister Kun Kim who is also the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) first vice-president, Sakhon said rice seeds were distributed to 64,343 families and vegetable seeds to 93,041 families in 20 flood-affected capital-provinces.