In order to save energy, scheduled power cuts are being carried out one day per week by the Ho Chi Minh Electricity Company. Farmers and manufacturers in suburbs and outlying areas are complaining however, about crop losses and delays in production caused by additional, random cuts that are taking place without warning.
Local farmers there said that the power cuts would be less costly to their operations if the electricity authority would make the cuts in a more consistent manner and provide warning in advance as it used to. The inconsistent supply of power has caused heavy crop losses for farmers since without prior warning, they cannot adjust the timing of their irrigation systems to account for a loss of power.
Ms. Nguyen Thi Huan, a farmer in Hamlet 3 who owns more than 3,000 sq. meters of agricultural land by the Central Canal, blamed the death of her newly- grown hot peppers on one of the unannounced power cuts. The supply was interrupted suddenly, she said, so she had no way of knowing how much water to reserve for her irrigation system.
Mr. Nguyen Huu Loi, another farmer in Hamlet 3, complained about the low productivity of 3.000 sq. meters of corn he is growing under a contract with the Southern Seed Company due to a shortage of water on days when unexpected power cuts took place.
Unscheduled power cuts are also affecting owners of small factories unequipped with standby electric generators.
Mr. Pham Tan Loi, a worker at the Kien Vang carpentry shop in Hoc Mon District, said that on April 2, the power was suddenly cut at around 9:40 a.m. Since the workshop was not equipped with an electric generator, Loi and other workers had to wait until the power came back on at 11: 30.
According to Mr. Truong Cong Ly, who works at a computerized- embroidery workshop in the Vinh Loc Industrial Zone, he and other workers could not work last Tuesday and Friday due to power cuts.
Mr. Phan Van Cu, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Vinh Loc Commune, said that delays in production in small and medium - scale factories that do not have standby electric generators are resulting in the unemployment of hundreds of workers.