The Houay Thahao irrigation project in Outhoumphone district, Savannakhet province, being built by the Phetthavone Road, Bridge, Housing Construction and Irrigation Co., Ltd is now almost 30 percent complete.
The project committee from relevant central and provincial level sectors on Friday undertook its third progress inspection since the project beg an at the beginning of 2014.
The project will cost more than 300 billion kip coming from the government budget and will be able to supply water for farmers' rice production in 2018, company Director, Ms Phetsamone Phengsavath said.
It will supply water to about 1,700 hectares of rice fields in eight villages of the district with more than 700 farming families benefiting from the project, she reported.
The project is a priority for the government's food security and drought prevention programmes with the area only able to produce rice during the rainy season.
“Most farmers still can't produce enough rice for consumption because of limited cultivation and some are still poor,” Ms Phetsamone explained.
To solve the problem, the project is also clearing some land for rice cultivation or planting other crops in the dry season as well as constructing roads and electricity a ccess.
This irrigation project won't require pumps because it is located in the Houay Thahao basin and while the company has met some obstacles along the way it remained on track overall.
Savannakhet province is one of the major rice producers of the country but has suffered from droughts and insect plagues, provincial Agriculture and Forestry Department Director, Mr Khamlui Nhadtivong said.
This meant the department could not further encourage farmers to produce dry season rice t o reach harvest targets, he said.
Early dry season, the department sets the plan to encourage farmers around the province to plant 30,000 hectares but they planted only 29,000 hectares, Mr Khamlui said.
The province has more than 200,000 hectares of rice under cultivation but the irrigation systems are only able supply water to 30,000 hectares.
He believed the Houay Thahao irrigation project would help increase dry season rice yields in the province, improve food security and assist poverty reduction for farmers.