NAKHON RATCHASIMA – Severe water shortage in North Eastern Thailand have substantially slashed the production of vegetables and herbs, driving up their prices.
Mrs Samrit Rithmai, a vegetable vendor at Suranakorn Muangmai market, the largest fruit and vegetable wholesale and retail market in Nakhon Ratchasima, said that the price of parsley, for an example, has recently gone up to 200 baht a kilogramme which is the highest this year.
She attributed the skyrocketing prices of parsley and other vegetables to substantial drop in production as a direct result of water shortage in farmland.
Mr Sutthiroj Kongkaew, director of Lam Takong project, disclosed that the usable amount of water at Lam Takong reservoir now amounts to 57 million cubic metre or only 18 percent of its full capacity of 314 million cubic metres.
About 500,000 cubic metre of water are released for tap water production each day and the remaining usable amount of water in the reservoir will last for just two months, he said, adding that the water situation is most critical.
There is no water left for farming purpose, he said.
The Royal Rainmaking Center meanwhile has stepped up its drought-relief efforts in the Northeast, having five main reservoirs in Nakhon Ratchasima province as its targets. Experts revealed the belated rainy season was badly affecting the general public and the agricultural sector. The current amount of rainfall is only 50 percent of that recorded in the same period last year.
Operations in the North have added rainwater by 16 percent which is still lower than the year-on-year amount by 34 percent. The Northern center said it had planned to summon rain-making aircraft from other centers to boost its rain-refill mission.