The farmers in Thai Binh province's Quynh Hoi commune gathered outside the local government office on Monday to complain that they have received only 10 hours of electricity a day for the past two months, the reports said.

"It is harvest time. We work hard in the field, but when we come home we have no power for cooking and the fans cannot operate," Lao Dong (Labour) newspaper quoted one farmer as saying.

Nobody at the local government offices could be reached by AFP for comment.

Vietnam generates more than one-third of its power from hydroelectricity but a regional drought has lowered water levels, adding to a nationwide power deficit.

The communist country had a shortage of two billion kilowatt-hours in the first five months of the year, according to a state electricity entity.

Foreign businesses have expressed concern about a lack of energy and other infrastructure in Vietnam.

"Consumption of electricity keeps on growing by 15 percent annually, thereby substantially surpassing the economic growth rates," the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam wrote last month.

Agence France Presse - June 22, 2010