Published: Tuesday 31 October 1995

Rice producing areas across Asia have been hit by huge floods in early October. Thailand, one of the world's top growers and rice exporters has been hard hit with as much as 10 per cent of the rice area facing a threat. According to a senior Thai agriculture ministry official, the floods could cut output to 20.21 million tonnes in 1995-96, down from 21.1 million tormes a year ago and bring it to the lowest level since 1990. The Thais hope to offset the damage if possible through higher output from onflooded fields and good monsoon rains.

The story is the same in Laos where severe flooding has damaged the main rice crop, damaging about 70,000 hectares of farmlands and affecting nearly 10 per cent of the country's population. According to Laos authorities, the flooding is the worst in 30 years and has affected an estimated 400,000 people.

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