Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Dith Tina said his ministry is preparing to mitigate the impact of climate change by adding improved irrigation systems and reservoirs to the Kingdom’s farming infrastructure.

Tina said climate change is a common concern that governments and relevant institutions around the world are working to address together.

“The main problems are drought and early seasonal rains. Recently, it rained during the dry season, damaging several crops. The ministry has dispensed new seed varieties to the farmers who were affected,” he said in an interview with Radio France International (RFI).

“I hope that no serious disruptions happen during this dry season, but we are prepared to counter the effects of droughts by establishing new canal and reservoir systems. In line with the government’s policies, we are working closely with the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology to mitigate the impact of climate change,” he added.

Pat Savoeun, head of the O’Saray farming cooperative in O’Saray commune of Takeo province’s Tram Kak district, said the co-op paid close attention to climate change, as it presents many difficulties for farmers, especially when it causes drought conditions.

“Our members have received training in growing crops, especially rice, in the context of present weather conditions. The training is invaluable to protecting our livelihoods,” he added.

According to the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM), in 2022, the consequences of climate change were more pronounced than in 2021. The world saw an increase in heatwaves, wildfires, storms, flooding and droughts.

“Flooding affected agriculture in Phnom Penh and 21 provinces, destroying over 240,000ha of paddy fields and 780,000ha of other crops,” it said.