Published: Tuesday 15 June 1999

Bangkok's Royal Irrigation Department has announced a scheme to pipe water to needy villages. Once completed, it will provide a 24-hour water supply to northeastern provinces and will increase farm output two-fold, said the department chief Pramote. With 12 projects under the scheme, each project is considered as one system, with each having distribution units depending on the water supply in the area. While well-to-do sugarcane and orchard growers may jump at the offer, it was doubtful if the poor and debt-ridden farmers would be able to afford it. He suggested a fund is set up or the government pays first and deducts the money from farmers' yields later. Pramote also stressed the money would have to be paid equally by each farmer under the system, regardless of the distance of their land from the water source. Two out of the 12 projects selected as pilot projects include Kud Kaen and Nong Jua villages in Khon Kaen province of Thailand

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