Friday, June 26, 2020

To beat the heat, Vietnam rice farmers resort to planting at night

Minh Nguyen
,Reuters•June 25, 2020

The farmers of the Tam Thanh commune say they have been forced to work at night in the fields to avoid searing temperatures that they say have got worse over the years.

"Temperature are rising one or two degrees (Celsius) every year," said Le Van Ha, 40, who blames the felling of trees in the area for making temperatures more extreme.

Ha, who doesn't want his children to follow his path into agriculture, said he now gets up at 2 a.m. to avoid having to cope with stifling daytime conditions.

Even though working at night has slashed productivity, he says they can keep working much longer by avoiding the heat.

Vietnam reportedly experienced its highest temperature on record last year at 43.4 degrees Celsius (110 Fahrenheit) in Ha Tinh province in central Vietnam.


Another farmer, Thai Hong Ngoc, 50, said planting at night meant that far fewer rice plants wither due to the extreme heat and is grateful that they now have machinery to use for harvesting.

"If I had to manually harvest crops like before, surely I would just leave it. It's just too hot," said Ngoc.

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