The output of the secondary paddy crop is estimated at about 4.4 million tonnes, slightly more the government's forecast. High prices encouraged farmers to cultivate more land to rice despite warnings of low level of water supplies. Fieldwork for the main paddy crop and coarse grain crops is well underway. Output target for the total 1998 paddy production is set at 23 million tonnes, about 4 percent higher than the 1997 estimate and about 8 percent above the average for the previous five years. Rice exports in 1998 are set to exceed 5.5 million tonnes, reflecting a strong export demand, against 5.4 million tonnes exported in 1997.
WFP has appealed for international food assistance amounting to about 15 000 tonnes for some 90 000 Cambodian refugees fleeing to Thailand to escape internal conflict.