TAIWAN, Thailand — A rice farmer sued his rice-growing company after authorities in Thailand cut off water supply and cut off rice-producing water sources in an attempt to stop a rice shortage.
The rice industry is one of the most vulnerable in the world, according to the World Bank, because its production depends on groundwater and can be cut off if water levels are too low.
It’s also the source of some of the world’s largest and most lucrative agribusiness profits.
The court case filed in the southwestern province of Phuket, which is in the westernmost part of the country, was filed by Thaisan farmer Tan Doon Thongkha.
He has been farming rice for 40 years, according the lawsuit.
He said the government and farmers have “taken the worst possible actions to try to stop him from growing rice, to cut off his water supply, to put water restrictions on rice-related activities.”
It’s not just Thonggahai’s rice that’s at risk.
Rice farmers and rice processors in several other countries across the world also are facing the same problems.
The World Bank estimates rice is worth $10 billion per year.
In addition to cutting off water, Thai authorities are also restricting the flow of fresh water to rice-growers.
The United States and Europe have cut off fresh water supplies to rice growers in response to the drought.
And rice growers are being hit by the government’s latest attempt to restrict water use.
In September, the government imposed restrictions on fresh water deliveries to rice farmers in a bid to help prevent a rice crop failure.
The government says its water restrictions are needed to prevent rice farmers from falling behind in planting their crops.
However, farmers in some regions say they are already behind because they don’t have the capacity to plant rice crops in time.
Thailand’s rice crisis has led to some of its largest rice growers to go bankrupt.
In an attempt not to let the situation get out of hand, the authorities are working on another plan to cut water supplies.
The country is trying to cut down the water table by using irrigation water.
The World Bank’s World Water Program says water restrictions in the past have caused rice farmers to lose their farms and farmers in the rice-rich southern province of Klong Thani to suffer from high water usage.
It says farmers there are now suffering from acute water shortages, which are a serious problem that could pose a risk to food security in Thailand.
The drought has forced farmers to move crops from their fields to nearby rice fields to try and keep the water flowing, according To Pham Nghiem, a rice farmer in the southern province.
The Ministry of Agriculture says the restrictions are necessary to protect rice farmers’ rice from being damaged by pests, but the farmers say the water restrictions put their fields at risk of flooding and they won’t be able to plant their rice crops.
Thonggachai told NBC News that rice farmers are struggling because they cannot afford to buy extra rice.
“I can’t sell my crop because it’s so expensive,” he said.
“If we don’t buy it, I will lose my rice farming business.”