Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister General Chatchai Sarikalya has banned the third round of rice growing.
"It must be banned even in irrigation zones,” Chatchai said during his visit to Chainat province on Friday.
Each round of rice growing takes about 100 days to yield crops. Authorities have been trying to encourage farmers to grow rice only during the rainy season to avoid the risk of water shortage.
According to Chatchai, farmers in the Chao Phraya River Basin have already engaged in the second round of rice growing and they will be able to harvest soon.
“But we have no plan to irrigate water for them for the third round of rice growing. So, do not grow rice after the end of the second round,” he said.
As of March 9, 34 major dams in Thailand had more than 19.98 billion cubic metres of disposable water. Although the volume is much larger than the same period last year, there is sill a risk that many areas beyond irrigation zones may face a water shortage.