HANOI – Under the pitch-black night sky, a group of Vietnamese farmers planted rice on a paddy field in the outskirts of the capital Hanoi this week.
Tam Tan commune farmers say they have had to work at night on farms to avoid the searing temperatures that they say have been bad for years.
“Every year the temperature is rising by one or two degrees (Celsius),” said 40-year-old Le Wan Ha, who says the trees in the area are getting worse as temperatures get worse.
Ha, who did not want his children to follow his path to farming, said that he got up at 2 am in the early morning to avoid daylight.
Although working at night may reduce productivity, they can work longer by avoiding the heat, he said.
Vietnam recorded the highest temperature of 43.4 degrees Celsius (110 Fahrenheit) last year in Ha Tinh province in central Vietnam.
According to an official of Vietnam’s National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, many areas of the country are experiencing new heat waves this year, though temperatures so far are below record levels last year.
The north and central parts of Vietnam have temperatures between 35C and 40C on Thursday, the center said.
Another farmer, 50-year-old Thai Hong Nkok, said that overnight planting means that fewer rice plants are wiped out by extreme heat, and are now grateful to have harvesting machinery.
“If I had to manually harvest crops like I did before, I would definitely leave it. It’s very hot,” Ngok said.