The Royal Irrigation Department organized the 5th THAICID NATIONAL SYMPOSIUM on ‘Sustainable Improvement of Irrigation and Drainage’ to exchange knowledge and academic research among experts in this area.

Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Mr Teera Wongsamut presided over the opening ceremony of the 5th THAICID NATIONAL SYMPOSIUM. He stated that over 100 years of a long development process of Thailand Irrigation system, almost 50 percent of the country's agricultural areas were already irrigated.

However the country is still facing the twin problems of severe flooding in the rainy season and a punishing drought in the dry season, therefore highly effective decision on water resources management is essential.

The Minister added that this symposium titled, ‘Sustainable Improvement of Irrigation and Drainage’ raised the significant issue of water crisis as Thailand is an agricultural country which has rice as the major export. In cultivation, water is definitely an indispensable resource.

Mr Teera further stated that in Thailand, drought was more severe this year and was expected to last longer than usual, since the rainfall level was less than the same period of 2009. Therefore, the ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives is preparing to propose a systematic adjustment of rice cultivation in order to restore waters and alleviate damages from pests. This proposal is now waiting for the Cabinet approval. Nevertheless, this decision could affect many people in various perspectives; it requires a high consideration of multiple viewpoints.

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