VIENTIANE, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- The impact of recent flooding has cost the agricultural sector around 127 billion kip (some 14.5 million U.S. dollars), according to an initial report from the Lao Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
However, large areas of crops damaged by the floods have yet to be assessed by authorities who are waiting for water levels to recede, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Wednesday.
Initial reports from provincial agriculture and forestry departments revealed that a total 71,580 farming families in 1,097 villages, 95 districts in 13 provinces have been impacted by flooding.
The northern provinces affected are Phongsaly, Bokeo, Luang Namtha, Oudomxay, Luang Prabang, Xayaboury, Huaphan and Xieng Khuang, along with central Borikhamxay, Khammuan and Savannakhet provinces as well as Champassak and Attapeu provinces in the south, which means 13 provinces out of Laos' 18 provincial localities are affected.
The floods have struck about 79,180 hectares of wet season rice with an expected 23,400 hectares damaged.
About 5,988 hectares of other crops have been affected by flooding with 585 hectares expected to be damaged mostly in Attapeu, Oudomxay and Khammuan provinces.
Meanwhile, around 7,187 head of cattle, 3,018 buffaloes, 551 goats, 2,098 pigs and 28,031 poultry, as well as 1,253 fishponds in Attapeu, Khammuan, Oudomxay and Bokeo provinces, have been impacted by the flooding.
Some 459 irrigation systems around the country have been adversely affected by flash flooding which damaged 153 pump houses and 189 channels, the ministry reported.
The damage to crops and livestock could potentially increase market prices as supply falls short of demand, said the report.
However, the Lao government has instructed relevant sectors to closely monitor and control the price of consumer goods and services to prevent unfair rises and ensure adequate supplies following floods across the country.
The Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce recently issued a directive to corresponding central and local levels to control the prices of goods and services to curb unreasonable increases.
The move is aimed at maintaining price stability as well as protecting the economy from other impacts and ensuring social order. It will also ensure that consumers are treated fairly in terms of cost, quality and quantity.