The central Vietnamese provinces need over VND350 billion (US$18.3 million) to deal with the current drought, an official said Friday, citing an agriculture ministry report to the government.
Besides measures to mitigate the impacts of drought, the government needs to support local people to buy new rice, corn and other seeds.
Seeds for crops other than rice are also needed to replace rice plants now dying from the extremely hot weather, said Nguyen Tri Ngoc, chief of the Crop Production Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
According to the ministry's report, some 46,000 hectares of rice in the north-central region will be critically affected if there is no heavy rain within the next ten days.
Over 25,000 hectares of rice in the central-coastal provinces are also withering in the hot weather that has persisted since May, it said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on Friday ordered the Ministry of Industry and Trade to ask the national power utility, Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), to provide sufficient power to affected provinces in their efforts to fight the drought.
EVN was also ordered to cooperate with local authorities in making plans to release water from hydropower plant reservoirs for the purpose.
Also on Friday, the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting forecast that the hot spell will continue in the central region for the next seven to eight days with temperatures reaching up to 41-42 Celsius degrees.