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    Lingering Drought Causes Crop Losses in Southwest China


    by NTDTelevision

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    And in southwest China, farmers are being hit hard by a drought that's been going on since October. Their crops are withering away, and they're harvesting what they can.

    Lingering drought has caused huge crop losses in southwest China's Yunnan and Sichuan provinces.

    There's been a lack of rain in the region since the fall and insufficient water storage in some parts of the country.

    In Matian Village, Baoshan City of Yunnan Province, farmers are busy reaping sugarcane far ahead of harvesting time before the drought kills the crop. In the village, more than 300 households grow sugarcane, but the crop has been withering since rain stopped in the middle of last October.

    [Lu Hongguang, Local Farmer]:
    "Last year, I earned about 35,000 yuan (about 5,556 US dollars) by selling sugarcane, but this year I will probably earn only 12,000 yuan (about 1,905 US dollars)."

    In Panzhihua City of Sichuan Province, most big water cellars have dried up... forcing farmers to stop growing their crop altogether.

    And 80 percent of rice fields in Sichuan Province's town of Zhaoya were suffering water shortages. Agricultural technicians have been introducing a method of "dry nursery seedlings" to local farmers.

    [Ruan Lvsheng, Agricultural Technology Station Head, Zhaoya]:
    "It could save water. By dry-nursing seedlings, about 30 cubic meters of water is enough for 0.067 hectares. Little water is needed afterward if the rice seedlings are irrigated with enough water the first time."

    By last Saturday, sugarcane affected by the drought had exceeded 100 square miles in Baoshan, including 10 square miles of land with no harvest at all. It is estimated that the whole city will suffer a loss of 170,000 tons of sugarcane.