Archive for the ‘crops’ Category

Human Toll Of China’s Water Crisis

February 7, 2009

China now suffers through what many climateologist call a “Fifty Year Drought.” 

Often we get bogged down in descriptions of crop loss, wells, lakes, the cost of whet.

But there is a very human side to the drought in China and just now China is staring to energize to address this catastrophe.

China will spend $12 billion to help wheat-growing communities across the country’s northern region survive their worst drought in five decades, state media reported Saturday.

Some 4.3 million people now face a water distress and 2.1 million head of livestock are short of water.  Crops are dead or dying and a real economic disaster is at hand for as many as 30 million Chinese people.

China already has 2-26 million unemployed migrant workers due to the global economic downturn.  Many of those went home to the farming commuities now in the middle of the water crisis.

China’s  Finance Ministry has allocated 86.7 billion yuan ($12.69 billion) from its reserve for local governments to distribute in drought-stricken regions as soon as possible, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The drought that started in November threatens almost half of the wheat crop in the eight provinces — Hebei, Shanxi, Anhui, Jiangsu, Henan, Shandong, Shaanxi and Gansu, Xinhua said.


China’s Water Crisis

Food Security, Supply Needs Totally New Thinking

December 28, 2008

A sustainable global food system in the 21st Century needs to be built on a series of “new fundamentals”, according to a leading food expert.

Tim Lang warned that the current system, designed in the 1940s, was showing “structural failures”, such as “astronomic” environmental costs.

The new approach needed to address key fundamentals like biodiversity, energy, water and urbanisation, he added.

Professor Lang is a member of the UK government’s newly formed Food Council.


Vegetables (Getty Images)

Food crops, agriculture and biodiversity cannot be separated from one another

“Essentially, what we are dealing with at the moment is a food system that was laid down in the 1940s,” he told BBC News.

“It followed on from the dust bowl in the US, the collapse of food production in Europe and starvation in Asia.

“At the time, there was clear evidence showing that there was a mismatch between producers and the need of consumers.”

Professor Lang, from City University, London, added that during the post-war period, food scientists and policymakers also thought increasing production would reduce the cost of food, while improving people’s diets and public health.

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