Friday, May 14, 2010

Chinese province parched by drought

Adrienne Mong, MSNBC: … While parts of southwest China are entering the flood season, Luliang County in Yunnan Province, is still suffering from what some people describe as the worst drought in a century. Following the seasonal droughts of recent years, this year’s dry spell is wreaking havoc on crops in Yunnan. The dried-out reservoir helped to feed what was once the largest irrigation plain in the region, enabling Luliang’s rich farmland to produce massive amounts of rice and tobacco.

The region’s staple crops may be the only victims for now, but farmers are beginning to worry that if it continues any longer, they’ll be next. Already, they’re affected. Some estimates say the drought has had an impact on over fifty million people. People such as Luliang’s tobacco farmers, who have been anxiously awaiting this time of year when the rain is traditionally supposed to begin falling again.

In the fields scattered around the reservoir, tobacco farmers were tilling the land – the color of burnt sienna – just in case rain does come. "This year’s harvest will be half as much as previous years," said Feng Huasen, a 52-year-old tobacco farmer from Dege Village who was helping to cultivate the fields….

A Yunnan landscape, shot by Kelberul, or maybe Graf Cagliostro, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License

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