According to the sources, it has been reported that the drought which destroyed the crops of farmers in North Cotabato, led in turn to their protest rally that was broken up by security forces early this month, and it is also a problem that is affecting our neighbors in Southeast Asia. Further, farm lands in our part of the world are drying up because of El Niño, and the warming up of waters in the central Pacific, disrupting weather pattern which is causing storms in some places and droughts in others. In addition, this year’s El Niño has also dried up wide areas in Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Moreover, now there are reports of drought in Vietnam and west of the Philippines across the South China Sea.
Further, in this regard ,it has been stated that by the end of 2015, according to the United Nations Disaster Risk Management Team that water levels in the Mekong River had gone down to their lowest levels since 2007. The Mekong Delta is the center of Vietnam’s rice producing area and the drought has greatly reduced Vietnam’s rice production in this year. It has also been revealed that it is for the first time in last several years, that Vietnam has a tight supply situation that will affect its ability to export rice to countries like the Philippines. Moreover, in this matter, four other major rice last exporters are Thailand, India, Pakistan, and the United States which have also reported declines in rice production. Keeping in view conditions of the drought in our own farm lands, the Philippines is reportedly planning to import 500,000 metric tons on top of the 500,000 tons already contracted by our government. However, with the developing situation in Vietnam, it may not be able to provide this additional supply.