TAIPEI (Taiwan) — A rice farmer in eastern Taiwan hired water trucks on Sunday (May 9) to irrigate his drought-stricken fields in a farming village at the foot of the Coast Mountains, CNA reported.
As rice is entering its booting stage in Taitung County, the crop needs plenty of water. However, the drought in Taiwan has not improved.
On Sunday, a farmer in Wang’an Village, Chihshang Township, surnamed Liu (劉), hired trucks to replenish his paddies with water. He said the irrigation for the local rice fields is not nearly sufficient and that he could not bear to see his crops destroyed by drought.
Liu said there are two local wells where water is pumped to irrigate farms, but everybody is fighting for water. As his paddies are located downstream, none is left for them.
He said he was left with no choice but to resort to hiring the trucks, which significantly shrink his profits.
Lin Kou-chin (林國欽), a biological engineer in Chihshang, said that due to drought, many paddies have been forced to go into furrow in western Taiwan, which has in turn dramatically driven up the price of rice and caused farmers in Chihshang to begin growing it.
Lin said no figures were available on how many acres of land have begun growing rice, but many woodlands and unirrigated farmlands have been converted.