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Farming must prepare for floods

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Flood danger next year: 30 storms & water 30-40% higher. Use monkey cheeks, adjust planting & build small dikes to channel water to big rivers. 

farmer Yingluck

In photo above Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra drives a farm tractor during her visit to Sing Buri's In Buri district

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Farm sector seen thriving after storms, 5.5% growth foreseen on strong prices by Walailak Keeratipipatpong


farm outputThailand's agricultural economy looks set to expand by 5.5% this year if there is no repeat of last year's heavy flooding.

But water experts are urging authorities and farmers to prepare for a number of severe storms expected to hit the country in the coming rainy season. 

Seree Supratid, Rangsit University academic and water expert, said based on his study, Thailand could face as many as 30 storms this year, a similar number to what caused the most extensive flooding of Thailand's history.

The amount of water will be 30-40% higher than normal and flooding is possible in areas in the North and the central plains while La Nina phenomenon would have much influence on the climate in the South. 

The lecturer told farmers to prepare by adjusting cultivation periods and suggested the government speed up its water-prevention scheme by building small and medium-sized dikes to channel water to main rivers

Olarn Chaipravat, adviser to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, told the meeting that the Strategic Formulation Committee for Water Resource Management would complete the comprehensive water-management plan in a few weeks. It will then be submitted to the cabinet for approval.

"Different sizes of monkey cheeks, or areas to temporarily store water, will be built in various provinces such as Kamphaeng Phet, Nakhon Sawan, and Ayutthaya. "The government may pay farmers to use the sites to store water for about three to four months during the rainy season," said Dr Olarn. 

Last year's floods that started in late July cost the country over 1.43 trillion baht, of which 73 billion baht was shouldered by the farm sector. 

The disaster is expected to put brakes on the economy in 2011, allowing it to to expand by only 1.5% year-on-year, while the agricultural economy will grow by 2.2% from 4.8% targeted earlier. 

A survey found harvesting fields for main rice crop will expand by 0.33% from the previous crop to 62.03 million rai, and by 3.53% to 16.69 million rai for the second-rice crop. 

Plantation of sugarcane will also rise 2.32% to 8.35 million rai. Rubber and oil palm sites are expected to increase by 7% and 6.56% to 13.6 million and 4 million rai respectively. 

This would bring the growth rate of the crop sector to a range of 6.3% to 7.3% this year, causing the farm economy to expand in a range of 4.5% to 5.5%. But these figures are based on the assumption that Thailand will not face severe natural disasters

Thailand earned 825 billion baht from crop exports from January to November 2011, up 35% year-on-year. Exports of agro-industrial goods grew by 25% to 484.7 billion baht. 

(Source: Bangkok Post, Farm sector seen thriving after storms, 5.5% growth foreseen on strong prices, 20/01/2012, Walailak Keeratipipatpong, link

Agricultural Vocabulary

sector - a part of the economy ภาคเศรษฐกิจของประเทศ (public sector = government, private sector = all businesses, household sector = families and consumers, banking sector,...) (See Wikipedia)
farm sector - all the farms and farmers in the country, same as "agricultural sector"
crop sector - same as the farm sector
thriving - being very successful ประสบความสำเร็จอย่างสูง
farm sector seen thriving after storms

foreseen - people believe it will happen in the future
5.5% growth foreseen on strong prices  

expand - to become larger ขายตัวออกไป
Thailand's agricultural economy looks set to expand by 5.5% this year if there is no repeat of last year's heavy flooding

authorities - government officials; the police or people in official organisations who have the legal power to make people obey laws or rules เจ้าหน้าที่ (ตำรวจ หรือผู้มีอำนาจ)
urging the authorities - asking government officials to do something (very strongly)

expected - believe will happen คาดว่า (จะเกิดขึ้น)
severe - very serious and worrying ที่รุนแรง ที่น่าเป็นห่วง
severe storms - very big storms affecting many people
severe storms expected to hit the country in coming rainy season

water experts are urging authorities and farmers to prepare for a number of severe storms expected to hit the country in coming rainy season

academic - someone who teaches at a college, or who studies as part of their job (has expert knowledge about a subject as a result of doing research) นักวิชาการ

extensive - including many things, covering a very large area ที่มีมากมาย
extensive flooding  
Thailand could face as many as 30 storms this year, a similar number to what caused the most extensive flooding of Thailand's history.

phenomenon - something that exists and can be seen, felt, tasted, etc., especially something which is unusual or interesting ปรากฏการณ์
La Nina phenomenon - a weather pattern that happens over large areas of the world (See Wikipedia)

influence - to affect or change how someone or something develops, behaves or thinks มีอิทธิพลต่อ, ชักจูง อำนาจบังคับ
climate - the general weather conditions usually found in a particular place สภาพอากาศ

the amount of water will be 30-40% higher than normal and flooding is possible in areas in the North and the central plains while La Nina phenomenon would have much influence on the climate in the South. 

cultivation - growing plants
cultivation periods - the periods of time when farmers grow plants
the lecturer told farmers to prepare by adjusting cultivation periods

prevention - the act of preventing something, or things that people do in order to prevent something
scheme - a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people แผนการ โครงการ
water-prevention scheme - Same as "flood-prevention scheme or programme" 

dike - a wall to stop water from entering a place
channel - to direct something into a particular place or situation ใช้ไปในทาง
channel water to  rivers - direct water into rivers
suggested the government speed up its water-prevention scheme by building small and medium-sized dikes to channel water to main rivers

meeting - when a group of people come together to discuss issues and make decisions การประชุม

comprehensive - complete and including everything that is necessary ที่ครอบคลุม
comprehensive water-management plan

submitted - formally given to someone so that they can make a decision about it ยื่น  ยื่นเอกสารเพื่อการพิจารณา
approval - saying "yes" you can do something, getting official permission to do something การอนุมัต
submitted to the cabinet for approval

cheeks - the soft parts of your face below your eye and between your mouth and ear แก้ม
temporarily - only for a limited time; not permanent ชั่วคราว
monkey cheeks, or areas to temporarily store water

Different sizes of monkey cheeks, or areas to temporarily store water, will be built in various provinces such as Kamphaeng Phet, Nakhon Sawan, and Ayutthaya. The government may pay farmers to use the sites to store water for about three to four months during the rainy season 

shoulder a cost or expense - pay for a cost or expense
last year's floods that started in late July cost the country over 1.43 trillion baht, of which 73 billion baht was shouldered by the farm sector  

disaster - something very bad that happens and causes a lot of damage or kills a lot of people ความหายนะ ภัยพิบัติ
put the brakes on the economy - slow the economy down (lower incomes, fewer jobs)
expand - grow bigger
targeted - aimed at something or someone ตกเป็นเป้า

the disaster is expected to put brakes on the economy in 2011, allowing it to to expand by only 1.5% year-on-year, while the agricultural economy will grow by 2.2% from 4.8% targeted earlier. 

survey - gathering information about what people think about different subjects (public opionion) by asking large numbers of people questions and counting their answers, and then using statistics, graphs, and tables to present results (See Wikipedia) การสำรวจความเห็น
harvesting - collecting a crop from the fields การเก็บเกี่ยว
survey found harvesting fields for main rice crop will expand by 0.33% from the previous crop to 62.03 million rai

plantation (noun) - 1. the planting of a crop; 2. a large farm
plantation of sugarcane will also rise 2.32% to 8.35 million rai.

figures
- statistics, numbers describing the economy 

rate - the level or speed at which something happens or changes, or the amount or number of times it happens or changes in a particular period อัตรา
growth rate - the speed at which something increases in size
range - all the numbers between two numbers

This would bring the growth rate of the crop sector to a range of 6.3% to 7.3% this year, causing the farm economy to expand in a range of 4.5% to 5.5%.

assumption - something that you consider likely to be true even though you have no proof ข้อสันนิษฐาน
natural - found in nature (not made in a factory by humans) ตามธรรมชาติ
disaster - something very bad that happens and causes a lot of damage or kills a lot of people ความหายนะ ภัยพิบัติ
natural disasters - a bad event in nature such as a storm, floods, a tsunami or earthquake that causes a lot of damage, injury and death

These figures are based on the assumption that Thailand will not face severe natural disasters. 

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