Thailand’s vital rice belt drying up

Thailand’s vital rice belt is being battered by one of the worst droughts in living memory with the prospect of a dismal main harvest.

Water levels in some of the major reservoirs are at their lowest levels in 20 years, prompting the ruling junta to call on farmers in the Chao Praya river basin to delay sowing crops.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has also ordered officials to clear irrigation channels, dig more ground wells and employ cloud-seeding technology to create artificial rainfall. But the wet season has yet to arrive in earnest.