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Showing posts from July 22, 2012

Could Africa Hold The Answer To US Drought Woes?

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Could Africa Hold The Answer To US Drought Woes?

"The world's poorest continent could offer clues to how America's farmers might cope with a hotter, drier climate, leading agriculture experts say.

In the African Sahel -- the belt of semiarid savanna running from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea -- farmers have successfully fought back an expanding Sahara and turned once dry, uncultivated scrub into highly productive farmland.

The key to their success has been allowing trees to grow, where they once cut them down, and adopting agricultural techniques that took full advantage of scarce water resources (ClimateWire, March 12). Now experts say it is time for American farmers to recognize the benefits that trees can bring to even the most arid plots of land.

Integrating trees in farmland has transformed parts of Africa, and now some experts think it could also work in the United States. Photo courtesy of the World Resources Institute.

"Given the situation in the U.…

India: Poorest Monsoon Rains In Four Decades

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Lack of Monsoon Rains Could Lead to Drought Declaration

"India's monsoon rains are unlikely to pick up enough to avert the possibility that ministers meeting next week may officially declare a drought, which could prompt the government to offer more support for farmers to ensure adequate food supplies.

Rains from June 1 up to the end of the planting month of July are likely to be 21-22 percent below average, Farm Secretary Ashish Bahuguna said on Friday, unchanged from the seasonal shortfall recorded up to July 25.

India's crucial June-September monsoon rains were 29 percent below average in the first month of the season, while the rains were about 15 percent below average so far in July.

The government raised the possibility of a drought for the first time on Thursday when Farm Minister Sharad Pawar said ministers would meet early next week to discuss the situation. Over half of India's farmlands are rain-fed.

The Meteorological Department (IMD) is likely to re…