Famine threatens Thanh Hoa farmers

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More than 241,500 people have suffered from insufficient food supplies caused by the shortage of farming land, drought and poor crops in the Vietnamese province of Thanh Hoa, according to a local newspaper.

Most of the affected people live at the mountains and coastal districts in Thanh Hoa, which borders Laos, according to Tuoi Tre newspaper. Six mountainous districts have the highest number of families lacking in food, the newspaper quoted local authorities as saying.

The provincial authorities on Thursday asked for more than 2,000 tons of rice from the central government to provide for more than 136,500 "extremely needy" people.

Food shortage threatens local farmers every year in the between-crop period of May. Besides, residents of several mountainous villages along the Vietnamese-Lao borders have suffered from chronic food shortage all year round and been subsidized with 15 kg of rice per month, per person.

Ly Seo De, who lives in Poom Khuong village of Muong Lat District, said 40 out of 55 families in his village needed the rice subsidization from the government.

"The main reason for this food shortage is the lack of farming lands," he said.

The district has only 560 hectares of rice-farming land, which is not enough for more than 30,000 local residents.

Several droughts last year severely hurt rice and corn crops in the area and left local farmers with insufficient food stockpile.

Meanwhile, soil salination has also affected farming land and crops in the coastal districts of Thanh Hoa.


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